Among provosts, Broad said, "many of them are having second thoughts about whether (leadership) is the life they would choose."
Cantor, a New York native, said her move is about getting back to "what it is I really want to work on," citing the public benefits of making the Rutgers campus part of Newark's revitalization efforts.
In his new job, Thorp said he hopes to boost Washington University's entrepreneurial efforts, tapping his own expertise as the founder of several companies formed from his work developing electronic DNA chips. He's reflective about his time at North Carolina.
"As far as Carolina is concerned, I think they're in a good place," Thorp said. "But it wasn't easy. Carolina has come to terms with a lot of the complications of intercollegiate athletics that weren't there before."
Saunders said she regularly hears from colleagues curious about her return to academic management. She called the days of campus leaders with open-ended tenures "just over."
Presidents now leave early enough to have time for new careers, she said.
"We still have gas in the tank," she said. "I think we'll see more and more of this."
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