The Smithsonian Institution today named the Georgia Institute of Technology’s president, G. Wayne Clough, as the new secretary of the giant museum, cultural archive, and research complex. Mr. Clough, a 66-year-old civil engineer who has been president of Georgia Tech since 1994, will take over at the Smithsonian on July 1.
In his nearly 15 years at Tech, Mr. Clough has raised it into the top ranks of public research universities, increasing its enrollment, expanding its research expenditures, and establishing campuses in four foreign countries. He has also led capital campaigns that took in well over $1-billion.
Thomas L. Friedman devoted a chapter of his best-selling book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, new edition, 2006) to a description of how Mr. Clough had remade Tech from an institution focused on engineering to one with a broader outlook. And for that work Mr. Clough has been well compensated, regularly ranking among the top public-college presidents in The Chronicle’s annual survey of executive compensation in higher education.
Mr. Clough has also been a prominent voice in public discussions of America’s scientific enterprise, speaking out on issues of global competitiveness and serving on the National Science Board and on President Bush’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.
Before taking office at Georgia Tech, Mr. Clough taught at Duke and Stanford Universities and at Virginia Tech, served as dean of Virginia Tech’s School of Engineering, and was provost and academic vice president at the University of Washington.
The choice of Mr. Clough represents a return to the past for the Smithsonian, most of whose leaders have come from academic or research backgrounds. His immediate predecessor at the Smithsonian, the businessman Lawrence M. Small, resigned last year, after a series of controversies over his lavish compensation and spending, as well as his willingness to strike deals with corporations that seemed bent on influencing the message delivered by the museum’s exhibits.
Georgia Tech said that details of the search to replace Mr. Clough would be announced later. —Andrew Mytelka