The Furman University Board of Trustees unanimously elected Carl F. Kohrt, Ph.D., to be interim president effective July 1. He succeeds Furman's 11th president, Rod Smolla, who resigned for personal reasons after serving since July 2010.
A native of Tuscola, Illinois, Dr. Kohrt is a successful business executive and an accomplished academic with deep Furman ties. He was graduated magna cum laude from Furman in 1965 with a B.S. degree in chemistry, and earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and a Master's degree in Management Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Kohrt has been a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at the James Frank Institute, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow (honorary), a Sloan Fellow, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Science degree from both Furman and Ohio Dominican University.
Dr. Kohrt enjoyed a 29-year career at Eastman Kodak Company, joining the company as a scientist and retiring as executive vice president and chief technical officer, where he was responsible for research laboratories on four continents. From 2001 until his retirement in 2008, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Battelle Memorial Institute, one of the world's largest, non-profit research and development corporations.
The son of two teachers, Kohrt has been devoted to improving math and science education in public schools. Under his leadership and consistent with its founding mission, Battelle began a significant investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, co-founding with The Ohio State University a multi-state network of public math and science college preparatory high schools. He also served as founding chair of Battelle for Kids, a nationally recognized teacher education assessment company.
He is the past lead director of Scotts MiracleGro Company and currently serves as a director of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. He also has been a longstanding member of Furman's Board of Trustees, serving as its chair from 2006 to 2008.
He and his wife, Lynne, are the parents of three sons, one a Furman graduate (Kris '84), and they have 10 grandchildren.