News Center

Dr. William Tsutsui Named 11th President of Hendrix

William Tsutsui

CONWAY, Ark. (November 1, 2013) – The Hendrix College Board of Trustees announced today that Dr. William M. Tsutsui will become the 11th President of Hendrix College beginning June 2014.

Dr. Tsutsui comes to Hendrix from Southern Methodist University where he led Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the largest of SMU’s seven colleges and schools, as Dean and Professor of History. A specialist in modern Japanese business and economic history, his published books examine topics ranging from banking policy to the film icon Godzilla.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are extremely pleased and excited to welcome Dr. Tsutsui as the 11th President of Hendrix College,” said Hendrix alumnus David Knight, Chair of the Hendrix College Board of Trustees and Co-Chair of the Search Committee. “We are very fortunate to have such an accomplished academician and administrator to lead Hendrix into an exciting new era.”

Hendrix senior and President of the Student Senate Neelam Vyas served on the Search Committee, consisting of students, faculty, staff, and trustees.

“Throughout the interview process, Dr. ­­­Tsutsui continued to engage and excite the Search Committee,” she said. “He captivated us with his personality, humor, and familiarity with the Hendrix story. His continued commitment to his own scholarly pursuits embodies our community commitment to excellence in our academic core.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner praised Tsutsui for his leadership. His collaborative relationship with faculty allowed Dedman College “to achieve significant and rapid progress in developing innovative programs, establishing new endowed chairs, and advancing research.”

“It is not surprising that Dean Tsutsui would be tapped for a college presidency as the next step in his distinguished career as an administrator and educator,” Turner said. “We wish him the best of luck.”

Prior to joining SMU, Tsutsui served as Associate Dean for International Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas where he was a history professor and director of the Kansas Consortium for Teaching About Asia in KU’s Center for East Asian Studies.

A Texas native, Tsutsui received a Ph.D. in history at Princeton University in 1995, and a Master of Arts in history there in 1990. He received a Master of Letters in Modern Japanese History from Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College in 1988 and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies in 1985.

“I am deeply honored for the opportunity to serve as President of Hendrix,” Tsutsui said. “Today, despite the challenges faced by all liberal arts colleges, Hendrix holds an enviable position. Your Hendrix Odyssey has clearly energized the campus and provided focus, identity, and national profile in a crowded academic marketplace. I firmly believe that Hendrix is well prepared for the challenges ahead and I look forward to working with the trustees, faculty, staff, and students to make a real contribution to Hendrix’s future.”

Tsutsui’s wife, Dr. Marjorie Swann, received a Ph. D. in 17th Century British Literature from Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College and will join the Hendrix faculty in the English department.

Tsutsui succeeds Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd, who has served as president of Hendrix since 2001.

W. Ellis Arnold, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Dean of Advancement, will continue to serve as Acting President until Dr. Tsutsui’s presidency begins in June 2014.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit