James T. Harris III
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James T. Harris III is the ninth President of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. Previously, he was President of Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio, for eight years, where he was named one of the top 50 character-building presidents in the United States by the John Templeton Foundation. Harris was also Vice President at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. Harris started his career teaching social science at the Toledo Central Catholic High School.
Harris received his D.Ed. from Pennsylvania State University in 1988 and was recognized in 2003 through receipt of an Alumni Fellow Award. He has also received degrees from Edinboro University and the University of Toledo.
Harris is nationally recognized for his work in civic engagement. In 2011 he was awarded the Chief Executive leadership award by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He serves on multiple boards in leadership positions including vice chair and a member of the executive committee of the National Campus Compact, the leadership committee of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the steering committee of the National Anchor Institutions Task Force and is the current Chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. He is married to the former Mary Catherine Kurdila and they have two sons; Zachary and Braden.
Harris has been a member of the MDP faculty at Harvard University for the past ten years. He is the author of over 20 articles on higher education and in 2012 he co-authored a book on Academic Leadership and Governance published by Stylus.
- James T. Harris III (2005-01-13). "Higher Education, College Rankings and Access for Lower-Income Students" (Abstract). Black Issues in Higher Education 21 (24): 106. EJ709779 (ERIC). Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Harris III, James T.; Ira Harkavy (July—August 2003). "Colleges, Universities and Communities Advancing Social and Economic Justice" (PDF). Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (Democracy Collaborative (community-wealth.org)): 149–153. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- "James Thomas Harris III, D.Ed. President and Professor of Education" (PDF). Widener University. 2004-09-02. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- "About the President". Administration web site. Widener University. August 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Jeff Deitrich (November 2003). "A Life of Service Through Leadership: Alumni Fellow James T. Harris III". Connections (Feature Story). Penn State College of Education. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- "Alumni Fellow Award Recipients: 2001-2010". Individual Awards. Penn State Alumni Association. 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- "Widener University: About the President (Google cache)". Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- Kathy Boccella (2007-11-12). "College presidents work in halls of higher earning". Local (The Philadelphia Inquirer (philly.com)). Retrieved 2007-12-15.[dead link]
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