John B. Slaughter Biography

John Brooks Slaughter, former president of Occidental College, retired from his position on June 30, 1999. Ginny Cushman, chairman of the board of trustees said, “He initiated and completed an impressive capital campaign that raised more than $72 million against a goal of $65 million. In addition, he has been instrumental in developing a strategic plan for moving the college into the 21st century, which includes his successful building of a more diverse and multicultural student body and faculty.” Dr. Slaughter was responsible for several major campus additions, including the Samuelson Pavilion and the Mullin Family Art Studio, as well as the new Johnson-Freeman Student Center.

Dr. Slaughter became the eleventh president of Occidental College in August 1988 after serving as chancellor of the University of Maryland, College Park. His academic career includes positions as academic vice president and provost at Washington State University, and director and professor of electrical engineering at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington.

At the request of President Jimmy Carter, he served initially as assistant director and subsequently as director of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Slaughter spent 15 years as an information technology specialist at the Naval Electronics Laboratory Center in San Diego. He began his engineering career at General Dynamics Astronautics in San Diego.

Dr. Slaughter received a B.S. in electrical engineering at Kansas State University in 1956. He earned a M.S. in engineering from UCLA in 1961 and a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California at San Diego in 1971. He has received honorary degrees from 21 institutions.

Among his numerous awards and honors, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Society for Engineering Education and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is the founding editor of the international journal Computers & Electrical Engineering. Dr. Slaughter is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Recognized for distinguished service in engineering by Kansas State University in 1981, he is a recipient of distinguished alumni awards from each of the institutions from which he has graduated, as well as the Roger Revelle Award from the University of California at San Diego. He was named “Kansan of the Year” by the Kansas Native Sons and Daughters in January 1994. Dr. Slaughter is a member of the board of directors at a number of corporations, including Avery Dennison, ARCO, IBM, Northrop Grumman and Solutia, Inc.