Elizabeth Coleman (born 1937) was the ninth president of Bennington College from 1987 to 2013. Following her graduation with honors from the University of Chicago, where she was a Ford Foundation Scholar, she completed her master’s degree in English and American Literature at Cornell University, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She received her PhD with distinction at Columbia University, where she was a Woodbridge and President’s Fellow.
In 2000, the New York Times wrote: "the college is once again in turmoil with dissident and dismissed faculty members casting Dr. Coleman as a dictatorial figure who crushes any criticism. Two trustees have resigned. Edward Hoagland, the distinguished nature essayist who is perhaps the best-known faculty member, has publicly called for Dr. Coleman's resignation, as has the writer Jamaica Kincaid...." The article continued: "What is striking is that nearly all of the critics, in their next few breaths, give Dr. Coleman credit for having saved the college six years ago. ".
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