Dr. Peter W. Likins
Peter W. Likins, Ph.D., was appointed as the 18th president of The University of Arizona on July 22, 1997, and retired on June 30, 2006. Previously, he was the president of Lehigh University for 15 years.
Prior to his tenure as president of Lehigh, Dr. Likins was provost of Columbia University, where he had earlier served as a professor and dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Before his six years at Columbia, he was a member of the faculty at UCLA for 12 years, where he was honored several times for distinguished teaching.
In recognition of his work on spacecraft dynamics and control, he was elected fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and later elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Likins earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Stanford, a master’s degree in the same subject at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctoral degree in engineering mechanics at Stanford.
Dr. Likins was a charter member of the NCAA Presidents Commission and later served on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the NCAA Executive Committee. He was also chairman of the NCAA Presidents Task Force on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics. Dr. Likins is recognized by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in its Hall of Outstanding Americans.
Dr. Likins serves on the board of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. He has served on a number of other national and international advisory boards, including the White House Advisory Committee on the Health of Universities and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Economic Development Policy Board and the Arizona Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education, as well as the Arizona State Board of Education, the Governor’s P-20 Council, and the Arizona Commission on Medical Education and Research.
Dr. Likins and his wife, Patricia, married for over 50 years, raised an interracial family, including six adopted children. He and his wife continue to make their home in Tucson.