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INSIDE THE FLX: HWS President Mark Gearan; his time at Harvard, returning to Geneva, the future of higher education, and “radical empathy” (podcast)

In this episode, I visited with Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark Gearan at his office in Coxe Hall.

We discussed his transition from heading the Peace Corps to higher education in the ’90s, his first stint at HWS, his move to Harvard in 2017 to become President in Residence, and his work at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

We talked about his old job becoming available again when President Joyce Jacobsen decided to concentrate on teaching and writing a book, how HWS has changed in his five years away and the challenges facing higher education, particularly those facing liberal arts schools. 

We also discussed the connections HWS has built with the Geneva community and the Geneva school system.

We talked about our increasingly divisive politics. Gearan said it’s a time for what he called “radical empathy.” 

It was a wide-ranging conversation. I hope you enjoy it. I thank President Gearan for his support and friendship over the years.