Tilghman oversaw the expansion to a four-year residential college system and the construction of a new residential college. She also pushed the arts, and her administration spent substantial time in contentious negotiations with local authorities over plans to rebuild an entire neighborhood on campus as a new arts and transit center. The plan received final approval late last year.
Tilghman will continue to serve as president through June. She plans to take a sabbatical before returning to the faculty as an instructor.
"April 21st will go down as a great day for Princeton," Tilghman said, referring to Eisgruber's appointment. "He is the leader we need for the next decade."
Eisgruber "has played a central role in many of the key initiatives of recent years, some of which he now will be responsible for bringing to fruition," said Kathryn Hall, the chair of Princeton's board and head of the search committee, in a statement released by the university. "He is well prepared to provide strong leadership as Princeton makes important decisions in areas ranging from online learning to globalization to increasing the diversity of our campus community, as well as in addressing challenges and pursuing opportunities that we cannot foresee."
However, she added: "As valuable as this preparation is, the principal reason we selected Chris was because of the personal qualities that make us confident that he will lead Princeton with vision, imagination, courage, and conviction."
Associated Press writer Justin Pope in Ann Arbor, Mich., contributed to this report.