Catharine Bond Hill
President and Professor of Economics
Catharine Bond Hill became the tenth president of Vassar College in July 2006. Hill is a noted economist whose work focuses on higher education affordability and access, as well as on economic development and reform in Africa.
Under Hill’s leadership, Vassar has reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. Other initiatives include greater community outreach, and the development of tools and resources for institutional research and long-term planning. Hill also teaches an advanced-level seminar at Vassar on the economics of higher education.
Hill continues to study the access by low-income students to highly selective colleges, and the net prices paid by these colleges' students relative to their family incomes. This includes "Low-income students and highly selective private colleges: Geography, searching, and recruiting" (Economics of Education Review, 2010), her most recent publication with longtime co-author Gordon C. Winston. She has also authored opinion pieces for the Los Angeles Times, Business Week, The Christian Science Monitor, and Inside Higher Ed, and been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News Service, Money magazine, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among other outlets.
Hill has been selected for a number of scholarly awards, grants, and fellowships from organizations including the American Council of Learned Societies, Brookings Institution, National Science Foundation, and Social Science Research Council. The work of Hill and her colleagues on the economics and affordability of higher education was primarily supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Hill is a trustee of Ithaka Harbors, Inc. and in 2011 Hill joined the board of trustees of the Yale-NUS College, Singapore’s first liberal arts college.
Prior to her Vassar presidency, Hill served seven years as the provost of Williams College, where she had chief academic and financial officer responsibilities. Hill originally joined the economics faculty at Williams in 1985. She and her family lived from 1994 – 1997 in the Republic of Zambia, where she was the fiscal/trade advisor and then chief-of-party for the Harvard Institute for International Development’s Project on Macroeconomic Reform. She has written widely from her experiences in Africa, including co-editing the books Promoting and Sustaining Economic Reform in Zambia (2004) and the widely reviewed Public Expenditure in Africa (1996). In her earlier career she worked for the World Bank, and the Fiscal Analysis Division of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
Hill graduated summa cum laude from Williams College, and also earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Brasenose College, Oxford University, with first class honors in politics, philosophy and economics. She completed her Ph.D. in economics at Yale University.