Richard Brodhead received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale and served on the Yale faculty from 1972 to 2004, teaching widely in the fields of English and American Studies. While still untenured, he was awarded the Devane Medal for outstanding teaching. He was named the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English and chaired the Yale English Department before becoming Dean of Yale College in 1993. His scholarly works include The School of Hawthorne, Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in 19th Century America, and The Journals of Charles W. Chesnutt. His writings as dean are collected in The Good of this Place (2004).
Brodhead became President of Duke in 2004. In his thirteen years there he made access and opportunity his highest priority, raising over $1 billion for financial aid endowment. He also oversaw the renovation of Duke’s historic campus and the establishment of many of Duke’s best-known international programs, while partnering in the revitalization of downtown Durham, NC. Speaking of Duke (2017) collects his major writings from these years.
Brodhead was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 and co-chaired the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is the recipient of several honorary degrees, including from Tsinghua University in Beijing. For his national role in higher education, Brodhead was given the Academic Leadership Award by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.