This press release appeared today on the ITHAKA website.

July 20, 2016 – New York, NY – ITHAKA, the not-for-profit leader in advancing and preserving knowledge and improving education worldwide, announced today that Vassar College President Catharine (Cappy) Bond Hill will join the organization as Managing Director of its research and consulting service, Ithaka S+R.

Hill, one of higher education’s most impactful college presidents and an accomplished economist, will lead Ithaka S+R’s national work as a partner and trusted source of research for college and university leaders, academic libraries, policy analysts and funders.  Hill will succeed Deanna Marcum, who will continue to serve as senior advisor. Under Marcum’s stewardship, Ithaka S+R developed highly-regarded programs in Educational Transformation and Libraries and Scholarly Communication, producing research and services to improve education by delivering better outcomes for students as well as providing leadership for the evolving scholarly communication ecosystem.

“I very much look forward to the work at Ithaka S+R, which will focus on increasing opportunities for our colleges and universities to deliver quality higher education for students across the country, work that naturally builds on what we have been able to accomplish at Vassar and takes it to a national level,” said Hill. “This is a wonderful and very compelling opportunity to continue my work as an economist and educator.”

For the past ten years, Hill has served as president of Vassar College, one of the top liberal arts schools in the United States.  Under her presidency, Vassar has emerged as a national leader in improving affordability and enrolling a more socioeconomically diverse student body, including being awarded the inaugural one-million dollar Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence in 2015 from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Hill has made a career bridging the higher education and non-profit sectors with a consistent focus on bringing about positive reform. In her earlier career she worked for the World Bank, and the Fiscal Analysis Division of the U. S. Congressional Budget Office. She later joined the economics faculty at Williams in 1985, eventually becoming its provost where she had chief academic and financial officer responsibilities. From 1994 – 1997, she moved to the Republic of Zambia and worked in the Ministry of Finance and with the Bank of Zambia as the fiscal/trade advisor and later head of the Harvard Institute for International Development’s Project on Macroeconomic Reform.

Throughout these years, Hill has had a steadfast focus on developing new approaches and policies to give people greater mobility in their lives.  A recent piece in the New York Times looks at the impact of her programs, including her work to attract first generation college students and veterans to Vassar and her implementation of the important support it takes to help them succeed, such as child care and paired advisors.

William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as well as founding chairman of ITHAKA, has known and worked with Hill since her graduate work in economics.  Commenting on Hill’s accomplishments, Bowen said, “Cappy Hill is an outstanding choice for this important leadership position.  She is a highly regarded social scientist whose research skills are augmented by valuable experiences in demanding administrative roles.  This is tremendous news for all of higher education.”

As Hill continues her long-standing commitment to improving higher education at the helm of Ithaka S+R, she will have a new vantage point to understand and influence approaches at a national level as well as working with a more diverse set of institutions on their local needs.  As one example, Ithaka S+R’s current work includes acting as an independent evaluator on a major First in the World grant-funded project being undertaken by the University Innovation Alliance, a consortium of eleven large, forward-looking public research universities.

Timothy Renick, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Success at Georgia State University commented,”Ithaka S+R has been a valued strategic partner with Georgia State, most critically in the implementation of our $9 million First in the World grant. The team’s practical knowledge of higher education, technical expertise, and commitment to helping low-income and first-generation students succeed sets them apart.  Hill’s deep experience supporting these same students will further build the strengths of Ithaka S+R in this area.”

For the past several years, Hill has also gained a unique perspective on the higher education landscape as a member of ITHAKA’s board of trustees.   ITHAKA has made significant contributions to improving higher education not only through the work of Ithaka S+R but through the development of two services that are now part of the essential fabric of the global scholarly communications ecosystem, the academic resource JSTOR and the Portico digital preservation service. Engagement in this area has furthered Hill’s understanding of today’s technological, networked environment and the changes impacting higher education as it relates to research and scholarly outputs, including the digital transition of libraries.

ITHAKA President, Kevin Guthrie, said, “Cappy Hill is a proven leader who has taken on challenge after challenge during her career and has had enormous impact in every context. I am so excited that she has chosen to join us to lead Ithaka S+R. She knows our mission extremely well and has been an invaluable trustee, so we know that she will build on the fantastic foundation Deanna and the team have developed to help libraries, publishers and educational institutions thrive as new technologies and other opportunities continue to change the way we communicate and learn.”

Hill will be joining ITHAKA in September, 2016.



ITHAKA ( is a not-for-profit organization that works with the global higher educational community to advance and preserve knowledge and to improve teaching and learning through the use of digital technologies. ITHAKA provides three innovative services that benefit the academic community: Ithaka S+R, JSTOR, and Portico. ITHAKA also announced a new strategic alliance with Artstor in 2016.


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