Meet Nancy A. Roseman

Dickinson's Board of Trustees announces choice for 28th president 

by Matt Getty

On Oct. 27, Dickinson's Board of Trustees selected Nancy A. Roseman, former dean of Williams College and former director of the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University, to be Dickinson's 28th president. Roseman will officially become the college's first woman president on July 1, succeeding President William G. Durden '71, who will retire June 30 after 14 years as president.

"It's always rewarding and energizing to work for an institution whose goals align with your passions," Roseman said. "Dickinson's focus on global education, sustainability studies and shaping engaged citizen leaders through the useful liberal arts resonates strongly with me, as these are ideals I've pursued and upheld throughout my career. I look forward to guiding the college through this next chapter as we capitalize on the impressive accomplishments of the last decade and push forward to take Dickinson to the next level."

Roseman's accomplishments at Williams include launching a new residential-life program; participating in the fundraising, architectural development and opening of the college's new student center; creating an Academic Resource Center; and guiding significant renovations to residence halls. Accompanying Roseman to Carlisle will be her spouse, Lori K. van Handel, and their beloved dog, Archer, and two cats, Cholly and Lola.

Roseman and van Handel introduced themselves to the campus community during a Nov. 1 visit to the college. "I am humbled, but I am also inspired by the energy and sense of promise that pervades this community," Roseman said to a packed house in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium. "To me, that is what Dickinson represents: what is possible when a community comes together with a common purpose: to sustain and nourish a great educational institution."

The announcement of Dickinson's 28th president came after an eight-month, international search that netted a deep and diverse pool of more than 200 highly competitive candidates. The process was steered by a search committee comprising 17 alumni, faculty members and students and chaired by Thomas Kalaris '76, Board of Trustees vice chair.

"The college community can be proud that this search attracted so many exceptionally talented candidates," said Jennifer Ward Reynolds '77, Board of Trustees chair. "I'd like to thank Tom and all the members of the search committee for the fine work they did in attracting a candidate whose experience and values align so well with the goals we've outlined in the strategic plan."

Roseman is steeped in the liberal arts and sciences—from her undergraduate education at Smith College to her 21-year career at Williams, beginning in 1991 as a professor of biology. Since 2000 she has served in senior administrative positions, including dean of the college for seven years, assistant to the president for special projects and director of the Williams-Exeter Programme. In these roles she was closely involved with management of the college, budget development and management, policy decisions and implementation of institutional initiatives, including developing and implementing a strategic plan. As a biology professor, her research is supported by the National Science Foundation and focuses on an enzyme required for DNA precursor metabolism. She has been published in the esteemed journals the Journal of Virology, Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"I congratulate Dickinson on selecting a president who can lead the college to yet another level of accomplishment," said Durden, who plans to work with Roseman during the next six months to ensure a smooth transition. "I look forward as an alumnus to seeing Dr. Roseman's accomplishments advance the college in every way."

Published January 11, 2013