Thomas Ehrlich
15th President of Indiana University
In office
Preceded byJohn W. Ryan
Succeeded byMyles Brand
Personal details
Born(1934-03-04)March 4, 1934
Cambridge, Massachusetts
ProfessionEducator, lawyer
Academic background
Alma materHarvard University
Academic work

Thomas Ehrlich (born March 4, 1934) is a consulting professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He has been married to Ellen R. Ehrlich since 1957. They have three children David, Elizabeth, and Paul, and nine grandchildren. They live in Palo Alto California.

From 2000 to 2010 he was a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He has previously served as president of Indiana University, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of Stanford Law School. He was also the first president of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, DC, and the first director of the International Development Cooperation Agency, reporting to President Carter. After his tenure at Indiana University, he was a Distinguished University Scholar at California State University and taught regularly at San Francisco State University. He is author, co-author, or editor of 14 books. He has been a trustee of Bennett College, Mills College, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and holds five honorary degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[1]

Early life and education

Ehrlich was born on March 4, 1934 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and went to Phillips Exeter Academy for high school. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1956 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1959.[2] While at Harvard, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and served as Article Editor for the Harvard Law Review.[3] He was law clerk to Judge Learned Hand of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

He holds five honorary degrees.[4]

President of Indiana University

Ehrlich became the fifteenth president of Indiana University on August 1, 1987 and retired from the position on July 31, 1994. While at IU, Ehrlich served as chair of the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities.[3] During his time at IU, Ehrlich helped to increased overall retention rates, especially among minority students. The student population also grew, with 96,000 students attending one of the eight IU campuses as of 1994. Ehrlich was known for wearing a bowtie (usually red).

In 2000, Indiana University established the local Thomas Ehrlich Service Learning Award and the national Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award,[5] an annual award given to faculty members who display outstanding achievements in the field of community service. IU President Myles Brand said that, "Tom Ehrlich's leadership raised the level of visibility and enhanced the success of service learning programs on all our campuses. This award will honor his legacy and recognize faculty who continue to show leadership in this area.[6]

Ehrlich was succeed as IU president by Myles Brand, who served from 1994 to 2000.


Ehrlich has served as author, co-author, or editor of fourteen books during his academic career.


  1. ^ "Ehrlich, Thomas | Stanford Graduate School of Education". Retrieved 2014-01-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Iu Archives
  3. ^ a b IU Archives
  4. ^ Stanford faculty website
  5. ^ "Thomas Ehrlich Service Learning Award". Indiana University. Accessed 24 March 2017
  6. ^ Indiana Daily Student, April 25, 2000
Academic offices
Preceded by
John W. Ryan
President of Indiana University
Succeeded by
Myles Brand