Ever the Leader: Selected Writings, 1995-2016 (Princeton University Press) is a collection speeches and writings from of Bowen’s late years, addressing everything from university values to educational opportunity, college sports, technology, and his peers in higher education leadership.
The author: Bowen was president of Princeton University from 1972-1988. Afterward, he served as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and as the founding chairman of ITHAKA a nonprofit that works with higher-education communities worldwide through digital technologies.
Opening lines: “The title I have taken for this lecture, ‘At a Slight Angle to the Universe,’ is taken from E. M. Forster’s description of the Greek poet Cavafy. I will return to the title at the end of the talk, when it will be clearer, I think, why I have chosen it. My purpose today is to consider the implications for the university of two powerful intersecting forces: the revolution in information technology that is so pervasive (on which I will concentrate) and the associated, but separate, increase in the reliance on the market to solve problems of all kinds.”
Reviews: “This book captures the essence of William Bowen — his brilliance, wisdom, wit, and humanity. It is a worthy tribute to one of the most visionary and inspirational leaders in the history of American higher education.” — Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University