Lois S. Cronholm
A dedicated spokesperson for the value of an education in the liberal arts, A&S alumna Dr. Lois S. Cronholm is best known for her work as an administrator in higher education over three decades in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. She received a B.A. with highest honors in 1962 and a Ph.D. in biology in 1966, both from UofL. She also attended UofL’s School of Law part time from 1968 to 1973.
Dr. Cronholm joined the biology faculty at UofL in 1973 where her work focused on environmental studies. She was appointed Associate Dean of the College in 1977 and Acting Dean in 1978. She served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1979 to 1985, a period in which A&S enrollment nearly doubled.
In 1985, she accepted a position as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1992, she was appointed Provost of Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She served as Interim President of Baruch College from 1998 to 1999 when she became Executive Director of the Center for Jewish History in New York City.
In 2001, she answered a request to return to CUNY to become Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of the City College of New York (CCNY). She remained in that post until 2007 when she retired and assumed the role of consultant to the President of CCNY.
Throughout her career, Dr. Cronholm was also active in professional and community organizations. She served as President of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Chair of a National Commission on Recruitment Ethics, working collaboratively with the American Association of University Professors. She served on the Board of the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union and the Louisville-Jefferson County Human Relations Commission, which she chaired from 1975 to 1977. In New York, she directed the Harlem 40 program at CCNY to benefit inner city middle school students. She served on the Board of Directors of the Players Club and as President of the Hampden-Booth Theater Library in New York. She also co-founded the Gramercy Park Campus, a consortium of educational and cultural organizations to benefit the community.
For more than 30 years in higher education administration, Dr. Cronholm has demonstrated a commitment to these priorities: the critical importance of public higher education, the value of a liberal arts education, and the need to incorporate social responsibility in academic programs.