After a long process of negotiations, Ron Kahn, Professor of Politics, turned down an offer to move to Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. Lewis and Clark offered Professor Kahn a University Professorship at Lewis and Clark College and a Research Scholar position at the Lewis and Clark Law School.
Kahn seriously considered the offer, saying that he was drawn to the geographical area and the potential for institution building. Lewis and Clark College is "seeking to follow Oberlin's tradition of excellence," said Kahn.
Kahn ultimately rejected the offer. "Oberlin students are great, they really want to learn. The Politics department here is one of the best in the nation," he said. "The College made it very clear to me that they wanted me to stay."
Clayton Koppes, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, "I worked very hard to keep him here and I'm very glad he's staying."
Kahn will assume a new title next year, becoming the James Monroe Professor of Politics and Law. The endowed chair was named after James Monroe, a graduate of Oberlin in the 1840s and a politician and statesman. Tom Fenn was the last person to hold the chair in the 1950s.
"I found this chair in the Oberlin attic and dusted off the cobwebs and repainted it," said Koppes of Kahn's new position.
When students became aware that Kahn was being recruited by another school, Koppes said he received a lot of quick mails. "The response from the students was wonderful," said Kahn, "but it happened after I got the offer and after the college had made its generous counteroffer." Kahn said that although he appreciated the student support, it really had no bearing on his decision to stay.
Ron Kahn has been teaching Politics at Oberlin for 28 years. He received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his Master's Degree and Doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 25, May 23, 1997
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