Burness to Lead Alma Mater

John F. Burness, former senior vice president at Duke University, was named interim president of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., effective
July 1. Burness, a member of the college’s board of trustees for seven years, will serve while a search committee seeks a successor to President John Fry, who will take the reins at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

“It is an honor and a privilege for me to be able to serve my alma mater following the exceptional presidency of John Fry and to help in the transition to another strong leader for Franklin & Marshall,” said Burness. Burness is a 1967 graduate of the college.

Burness plans to return to Duke to teach in the fall of 2011 with the Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. He is a visiting professor of the practice of public policy at the Sanford School. He is also an invited columnist for the Chronicle of Higher Education and has been a consultant for about two dozen leading colleges and universities. Previously he served for 17 years as Duke’s senior vice president for public affairs and government relations.

Prior to joining Duke, he served as the senior public affairs officer at Cornell University, the University of Illinois and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.