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Deborah Freund new president of Claremont Graduate University

Los Angeles Times
July 14, 2010
A prominent healthcare economist and former high-ranking administrator at Syracuse University will be the next leader of Claremont Graduate University, a 2,200-student campus that awards master's and doctoral degrees, university officials said.

In an announcement scheduled for Wednesday, Deborah A. Freund, 58, will be named president of the private university, one of two graduate institutions in the seven-member Claremont Colleges consortium.

The first woman to head the school, Freund is expected to take her position in the fall, replacing Joseph C. Hough, an interim leader who has served since Robert Klitgaard left the presidency in February 2009 after differences with the university's trustees.

Four years ago, Freund — then Syracuse's provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs — was the front-runner to become chancellor of UCLA. But negotiations broke down, mainly because her husband, Thomas J. Kniesner, who was chairman of Syracuse's economics department, was not offered a UCLA faculty job. Claremont has offered Kniesner a professorship.

In a telephone interview from Syracuse, Freund said that her expertise and career fit better with a private university like Claremont that emphasizes cross-disciplinary studies, and that she harbors no ill will toward UC. "I just think this is sort of meant to be," she said. "I come from a private university now and the kind of work that CGU does really stokes my passion."

Claremont Graduate University offers graduate degrees in the humanities, management, education, health, religion, and social and behavioral sciences, among other subject areas.

Noting that she often collaborates with doctors, lawyers and psychologists on healthcare research, Freund said she was drawn to the school's many interdepartmental initiatives and a relatively small size that encourages personal exchanges. She said she wants to promote more cooperation among the Claremont Colleges on "all kinds of education, research and outreach."
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