Strikwerda to become Elizabethtown president


    Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania named College of William and Mary Dean of Arts and Sciences Carl Strikwerda its next president Jan. 11. Strikwerda will finish out the current academic year at the College before transitioning into his new role beginning July 1.

    College Provost Michael Halleran said the search for Strikwerda’s replacement will begin before May.

    “We will launch a national search for a new dean before the end of the academic year,” Halleran said in an e-mail. “An interim dean for the 2011-12 academic year will be appointed soon.”

    A search committee will be formed to field applications and conduct interviews. College President Taylor Reveley and Halleran will make the final decision, pending the candidate’s approval by the Board of Visitors. Halleran said students will have input on the final nomination.

    “There will be student representation on the search committee, and there will be an opportunity for student engagement with the finalists who come to campus,” Halleran said.

    Strikwerda began his tenure at the College in 2004 after previously working as an assistant dean at the University of Kansas from 1998 to 2004. In Williamsburg, he oversaw the largest academic group at the College, comprising 378 faculty members, 21 departments and 14 interdisciplinary programs. Strikwerda holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. in history, which he teaches at the College.

    “I have spent seven years in one of the most exciting deanships in the country,” Strikwerda said in an e-mail. “Few colleges or universities can boast of a faculty which [is] as committed to integrating teaching and research as is the Arts and Sciences faculty at William and Mary.”

    Strikwerda is credited with contributing to the College’s winning of several major grants in recent years from the Freeman, Gates, Hewlett, Beckman and Mellon foundations, in addition to grants from several federal agencies. He also helped advance a new undergraduate joint degree program offered between the College and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Strikwerda was also influential in creating the Faculty Student Research Initiative amid the College’s recent financial restrictions.

    “The last three years of budget cuts have been challenging, but I am proud that we have continued to hire new faculty and keep our offerings to students largely intact,” he said.

    Strikwerda serves as a freshman-sophomore International Relations advisor and has taught Global History at the College. He said he will miss the gratification of connecting with students after they graduate and gain real-world experience.

    Reveley complimented Elizabethtown’s choice.

    “As Dean of Arts and Sciences, Carl Strikwerda showed a keen understanding of higher education and the sort of commitment to faculty, staff and students that will serve him well as a college president,” Reveley said in a press release. “He has been an important member of William and Mary’s administration, and we will miss him. I am confident Elizabethtown will thrive under Carl’s leadership.”

    Elizabethtown is a private, 1,900-student college located in south central Pennsylvania. Strikwerda will succeed Theodore E. Long, Elizabethtown’s president for the last 15 years.