Cornell University selects 1st female president

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ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — Cornell University trustees elected University of Southern California Provost Elizabeth Garrett the Ivy League school's next president on Tuesday.

Garrett will become the first woman to lead Cornell when she becomes the upstate New York school's 13th president July 1, 2015. The 51-year-old provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC succeeds David Skorton, who will become the next secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 2015.

Skorton said he would work closely with Garrett to ensure a smooth transition.

"As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Cornell's founding, we are proud to add Beth to the long line of exceptional Cornell presidents," said Jan Rock Zubrow, chairman of the executive committee of the board of trustees. "Her talents, experience and vision make her the ideal choice to lead Cornell into its next 150 years."

Garrett was appointed to her current position at USC in October 2010. She oversees USC's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 16 other professional schools. She was previously a law professor and deputy dean at the University of Chicago.

President George W. Bush appointed her in 2005 to serve on the bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, and she served from 2009 to 2013 as commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

She received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Oklahoma and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Garrett's husband, USC law professor Andrei Marmor, will join Cornell as a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and the university's law school.

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