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July 5, 2017
On Campus

A New Era

Dr. Michael Frandsen Begins Tenure as Wittenberg’s 15th President

With excitement and Tiger pride, the Wittenberg community officially welcomed Dr. Michael Frandsen as its 15th president, July 1. Frandsen, formerly vice president of finance and administration at Oberlin College, expressed thanks for the warm welcome he and wife Sharon received upon their arrival.

“We have heard that Wittenberg is one of America’s most friendly communities of learners, and we can certainly see why,” he said, adding that he looks forward to working with the university’s Board, faculty, students, staff and alumni to advance Wittenberg’s mission.

“We all play a role in helping students find their passions and in empowering and equipping them to lead meaningful lives and contribute to the world,” Frandsen said. “I’m confident that together we will inspire even more students to choose Wittenberg, re-engage more alumni in our future, and redefine excellence for generations.”

"I’m confident that together we will inspire even more students to choose Wittenberg, re-engage more alumni in our future, and redefine excellence for generations."
Dr. Michael Frandsen

The unanimous choice of the Wittenberg University Board of Directors, Frandsen brings a breadth and depth of experience to Wittenberg’s highest post having spent more than 10 years in corporate finance before pursuing his current 18-year career in higher education as both a professor and senior-level administrator, including serving as interim president of Albion College from 2013-2014.

“Wittenberg is extremely blessed to have found in Mike an outstanding leader in higher education and a passionate advocate for the liberal arts who exemplifies our mission,” said the Rev. Jonathan Eilert, chair of the Wittenberg Board of Directors and chair of the presidential search committee. “Mike clearly sees the big picture, finds the intersections that create opportunity, seeks creative solutions, and collaborates and communicates effectively with constituents, all while staying focused on our students and their personal and professional success. We are thrilled to have attracted such a distinguished leader, and we are convinced that he will take Wittenberg to new heights of excellence.”

Frandsen’s selection follows a six-month national search led by a 15-member search committee comprised of Board members, faculty, staff, community representatives, alumni and students, and managed by Tom Courtice of TBC Search Consulting, L.L.C. A total of 90 applications were submitted for the position.

Respected for his authenticity, integrity, vision and exemplary leadership skills, Frandsen thoroughly understands the rhythms and culture of the academy and the importance of shared governance, the power of an integrated, residential experience, the art and science of enrollment, marketing and fundraising, and the role of community-building in long-term institutional success.

"It was clear to the search committee that Mike's impressive array of experiences in higher education, his passion for the liberal arts, his commitment to teaching excellence and respect for our community, and his collaborative leadership style align beautifully with our university’s mission, as well as our particular needs at this time," said Stefne Broz, associate professor of communication and a member of the search committee. "We are thrilled that he has agreed to lead Wittenberg."

Frandsen earned his B.A. in finance with distinction and his M.B.A. in quantitative business analysis with honors from The Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. in management from the University of Texas at Austin. He and wife, Sharon, are the proud parents of two grown daughters, Janie, a doctoral student at The Ohio State University, and Kate, who will graduate from Albion College this fall.

A series of informal meet-and-greets have been scheduled to welcome the Frandsens, as well as special sessions with alumni. Frandsen’s inauguration has also been scheduled for Thursday, April 5, 2018 as a lead-in event for Wittenberg’s annual Celebration of Learning and Honors Convocation. Additional events highlighting Wittenberg’s tradition of excellence in the arts and athletics are also expected to round out the celebratory week next spring.

Karen Gerboth
Karen Gerboth
Vice President of Marketing & Communications

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About Wittenberg

A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for “Best Classroom Experience” and 15th in the category “Professors Get High Marks” in the 2011 edition of Princeton’s annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of “Most Accessible Professors.” Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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