Bicentennial Professors

President Schlissel has appointed distinguished faculty leaders to lead the planning and development of the Presidential Bicentennial Colloquia series, as well as surrounding activities and discussions. These faculty members are tasked with commemorating and celebrating the university’s distinguished 200-year history, while also deeply and meaningfully exploring various topics related to the future of the university. Presidential Bicentennial Professors Susan Alcock and Paul Courant led “The Evolving Bargain Between Research Universities and Society” colloquium.

Susan E. Alcock

Sue AlcockSusan Alcock (PhD ’89, University of Cambridge) serves as U-M’s special counsel for institutional outreach and engagement and professor of classical archaeology and classics. A MacArthur Fellowship winner (2001), Alcock works with the president on initiatives and projects that engage, in various ways and with various partners, with the public missions of the University of Michigan.

From 2006 to 2015, Alcock served as the inaugural director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University. Prior to that, from 1992 to 2005, she was a member of the department of classical studies at the University of Michigan, where she became the John H. D’Arms Collegiate Professor of Classical Archaeology and Classics. During that period, she was awarded both an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship and the Henry Russel Award.

Alcock’s research and teaching focuses on themes of landscape, imperialism and memory in the ancient Mediterranean; she has conducted fieldwork in Greece, Armenia and Jordan (at Petra). Alcock is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and of the German Archaeological Institute.

Paul N. Courant

Paul CourantPaul Courant is the Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and a professor of economics and information at the University of Michigan. During his career at U-M, Courant has held the positions of provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, as university librarian and dean of libraries, as associate provost for academic and budgetary affairs, as chair of the department of economics, and as director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies (predecessor of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy). He also served as a senior staff economist to the Council of Economic Advisers from 1979 to 1980.

Courant has authored half a dozen books and more than 70 papers covering a broad range of topics in economics and public policy, including tax policy, state and local economic development, gender differences in pay, racial discrimination in housing markets, radon and public health, relationships between economic growth and environmental policy, and university budgeting systems. More recently, he has been studying the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives, and the changes in the system of scholarly communication that derive from new information technologies. Courant was a founding board member of both the HathiTrust Digital Library and the Digital Public Library of America, and serves on several other nonprofit boards, including the Council for Library and Information Resources, ARTstor and the DuraSpace Foundation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Authors Alliance.

Courant holds a BA in history from Swarthmore College (1968) as well as an MA (1973) and a PhD in economics (1974) from Princeton University.