Springfield, Ohio – Dr. Laurie M. Joyner, Ph.D., president of Wittenberg University since 2012 and the first female president in University history, will leave her post effective Friday, November 6th, the University announced today.
President Joyner was elected by the Board of Directors to lead the university through a time of significant challenges. Dr. Joyner arrived during a time of financial uncertainty and took on the crucial effort to preserve the University’s most important strengths while charting a productive and fiscally responsible course forward.
During her tenure, President Joyner worked collaboratively with other leaders on campus to create new academic and athletic initiatives, student success efforts, and technology upgrades. The academic and athletic investments build on historic strengths of Wittenberg in the areas of business, the health sciences, and athletics. At her direction, the university launched a student success initiative and developed a new value proposition known as “The Wittenberg Commitment” that re-energizes the significance of high-impact practices and advising/mentoring in helping students discover their vocation and envision life after Wittenberg. To support this work further, the campus is creating a Center for Engaged Learning to better serve the needs of students. Similarly, she championed financial support for a $6.5 million technology upgrade early in her tenure to address campus needs and support pedagogical innovation in teaching and learning.
While at Wittenberg, President Joyner worked tirelessly with her senior staff to produce meaningfully improved results in both student admissions and university advancement; introduced a five-year financial planning model; instituted “best practices” in a number of areas; posted the best two years of financial operating results in at least a decade; reduced total debt by more than $5M in three years; completed important health and safety capital projects; and secured more than $17M in pledges for the new Health, Wellness & Athletics Expansion and Restoration Initiative.
“This decision to leave Wittenberg has not been easy,” Joyner said. “I have been honored to work with talented students and caring colleagues on the faculty and staff and have particularly enjoyed providing leadership development opportunities throughout the University community. It has been an honor and an exceptional privilege to serve Wittenberg University for the past three years and to support its abiding commitment to the liberal arts, its commitment to academic and athletic excellence and its dedication to service.”
“Dr. Joyner is leaving Wittenberg University in a much stronger financial position and with talented staff members to continue the progress begun during her tenure.” said Thomas J. Murray, Chairman of the Wittenberg University Board of Directors. “We are supremely confident in the continuing success of our university and the incredible faculty and staff that mold our future leaders. Her depth of experience and expertise in academia made her the right leader for Wittenberg through this time of challenging and necessary transitions, and helped to establish a foundation for an even greater Wittenberg that will nurture young leaders for generations to come.”
Although a timeline has not been determined, the Board of Directors looks forward to sharing a plan to hire a new university president in the future.