Russell K. Osgood Named 12th President of Grinnell College
MAY 15, 1998
GRINNELL, Iowa -- Russell K. Osgood, Allen R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law at Cornell University School of Law, has been named the 12th president of Grinnell College, according to an announcement today from Elizabeth Ballantine, chair of the college's board of trustees. The board unanimously approved a recommendation presented at the board's May meeting by the presidential search committee chaired by trustee Caroline Little, '81.
Osgood, 50, will assume the presidency by August 1, 1998, replacing Charles L. Duke, who has served as interim president since the resignation of Pamela Ferguson last year.
"We are fortunate to have attracted a person of such high caliber and with a proven record of achievement. Buoyed by its strong financial resources, excellent faculty, administration, and students, Grinnell is at the threshold of an exciting and dynamic period in its 152-year history," Ballantine says.
"Our committee, which included administrative, faculty, student and trustee representation, screened more than 250 qualified candidates with impressive credentials. The combination of his teaching, scholarly and administrative experiences makes him uniquely qualified to lead Grinnell today," Little says.
"Grinnell's message is that the college is committed to a life-preparing education in a community that is accepting, energetic, and committed to moral generosity and achievement," Osgood says.
"This community strikes me as a terrific setting in which we can all work together to preserve and renew what is good, and to find new things and new ways to enhance that basic goodness," Osgood says.
Osgood joined the faculty of the Cornell Law School in 1980, serving as editor of the Law and History Review.
In 1988, he was named Allen R. Tessler Dean of the law school. He also teaches an undergraduate political science course. Osgood's scholarly work includes books and articles in the areas of American legal history, employee benefits and pension law, and income taxation.
Under Osgood's leadership, the law school has introduced a new writing program in its first-year curriculum, developed an extensive international program, and increased the diversity of its students and faculty.
Osgood graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 1969 with exceptional distinction in history. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-71, returned to Yale in 1971, edited the Yale Law Review and received the J.D. degree in 1974. He entered private practice in Boston, became associate professor of law at Boston University in 1978, and joined the faculty of Cornell Law School in 1980. He is a Corresponding Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He also is a member of the Selden Society, the Stair Society, the Essex Institute, History of Essex County, Mass., the American Society for Legal History, and the American Bar Association.
Osgood and his spouse, Paula, are the parents of four children: Mary, Josiah, Micah, and Iain. His parents are Richard and Mary Osgood of Massachusetts.