Student Chosen to Find Yale’s Next President Has Same Last Name as Its Current One

In addition to the final list (published at the end of this post) of faculty, administrators and CEOs, the Yale Corporation has assigned four Counselors (student, faculty, staff, and alumni) to, well, counsel, the Committee in its search for the next Yale University overlord supreme leader tzar president. Of particular interest is the decision to, for the first time ever, officially include a student in the decision-making process.

They clearly went for looks instead of brains (jokes! JOKES) in choosing Student Counselor Brandon Levin ’13.

Former Yale College Council President, current Whiffenpoof, and one of Yale’s “50 Most Beautiful People”, Levin is a good representative of your typical Yale student: too overachieving for his own good.

In an email interview, Levin expressed his views on his new role as Student Counselor.

My role is, first and foremost, to act as a conduit for the views of students in providing counsel to the Yale Corporation. So, I don’t see myself as conveying my own views to the Corporation; rather, it’s far more important that I solicit the views of students about the direction the University should pursue in the coming years, the attributes ideally found in a new president, and any recommendations they may have for particular candidates. In this sense, I aim to be a facilitator and ‘funnel,’ liaising between all Yale students — undergrads, grad students, and professional school students alike — and the Search Committee and Yale Corporation.

The Corporation has, of course, already faced criticism for its choices to the Search Committee and that criticism has faced criticism too. And while this initial grumbling is to be expected, we wonder whether students will maintain an interest in choosing Yale’s most powerful figure. Does your typical Yalie really consider the influence of the President on a daily basis? Levin the Younger is keepin’ that dream alive:

I do think students will demonstrate a great deal of interest in the search for a new University President. Based on the number of emails I’ve already received — in addition to the hundreds of survey responses I’ve already gotten from students on a survey sent out only a few hours ago — it’s clear that students are eager and willing to play a part in the process. I think part of this is due to the fact that this is the first presidential search in Yale’s history where students have been asked to play an official role in the search.

Finally, here is Levin singing:


Judith Chevalier ’89, William S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics

Francisco G. Cigarroa ’79, Chancellor, University of Texas System

Peter B. Dervan ’72 Ph.D., Bren Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology

Donna L. Dubinsky ’77, Founder & Board Chair, Numenta, Inc.

Charles W. Goodyear ’80, President, Goodyear Capital Corporation (Chair)

Amy Hungerford, Professor of English and American Studies, Master of Morse College

Paul L. Joskow ’70 M.Phil, ’72 Ph.D., President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and former Chair of the Economics Department of MIT (Vice Chair)

Richard Lifton, Sterling Professor of Genetics and Professor of Medicine; Chair, Department of Genetics; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Indra K. Nooyi ’80 M.P.P. M., Chairman of the Board & CEO, PepsiCo, Inc.

Anna Pyle, William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology; Investigator Howard Hughes Med Institute; Professor Chemistry

E. John Rice, Jr. ’88, Founder & CEO, Management Leadership for Tomorrow

Douglas A. Warner III ’68, Former Chairman of the Board, JP Morgan Chase & Company and Chairman of the Board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


Faculty Counselors:  Michael McBride, Ruth Yeazell
Student Counselor:  Brandon Levin ’14, immediate past President of the Yale College Council
Staff Counselor:  Janet Lindner, Associate Vice President for Administration
Alumni Counselor: Michael Madison ’83, immediate past Chair, AYA Board of Governors

  • CitizenWhy

    Good student choice. The Board is likely to be more attentive to student views if Levin sings the concerns to the Board. This might make a good episode of Glee, with the Board bursting into the songs that meant so much to them when they were young(er) while Levin raps as well as sings.

  • Mike Conrad

    I thought everyone at Yale was named Levin. Or was that Cohen?