Dickinson College announced Sunday evening the selection of its 28th president and the first woman to lead the 229-year old institution.
Nancy A. Roseman, former dean at Williams College, one of the premier liberal-arts colleges, was elected by the board of trustees. She will succeed William G. Durden, who will retire June 30 after 14 years as president.
She will begin her presidency officially on July 1.
Roseman served as dean of the college at Williams for seven years and assistant to the president for special projects. Most recently she was the director of the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University. Roseman joined Williams in 1991 as a professor of biology.
“The college community can be proud that this search attracted so many exceptionally talented candidates,” said Jennifer Ward Reynolds, chair, board of trustees and Dickinson College class of 1977. “We are excited that Dr. Roseman will lead Dickinson forward as we capitalize on the momentum we’ve generated and the goals we’ve outlined in the strategic plan. Dr. Roseman was closely involved with management of the college, development of the budget, policy decisions and implementation of institutional initiatives, so she brings to Dickinson that strong academic and administrative experience and an unwavering commitment to the liberal arts. I’m confident about her abilities to build on the achievements of the past 14 years under the direction of President William Durden.”
As dean, Roseman reported to the president as a member of senior staff and served on a number of governance committees. Her accomplishments include the new residential-life program along with the establishment of a new department of Campus and Residential Life; successfully chairing the Student Center Building Committee, including involvement with every aspect of the project from selecting architects, to fundraising, to opening in 2007; and the creation of an Academic Resource Center, now housed in the new student center. She was involved with significant renovations to residence halls and Williams’ strategic plan which led to improvements to academic requirements and increased offerings of tutorials and interdisciplinary teaching.
She had a comprehensive and far-reaching set of responsibilities, which required collaboration with every area of the institution and all constituent groups of Williams College, both on and off campus. Roseman had primary responsibility for all areas of student life—academic, social and residential, including the Academic Resource Center; Chaplains’ Office; study away; the Multicultural Center and international students; career counseling; campus safety and security, disciplinary issues and crisis management; and the health center and psychological counseling services.
Roseman created new departments, consolidated a number of programs and functions, managed staff and budgets and collaborated with everyone from students to donors.
“It’s always rewarding and energizing to work for an institution whose goals align with your passions,” said Roseman. “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.”
At Williams, the positions of dean of the college, dean of the faculty and provost are faculty appointed by the president to serve three to five year terms with the intent that they will return to the classroom. Roseman, who served an extraordinary seven years as dean, followed that administrative position with a new assignment as assistant to the president for special projects. In this position she was once again able to use her managerial and alliance-building skills to develop and implement policies to improve the lives of students attending Williams, such as those on financial aid who needed additional assistance to purchase textbooks.
In 2010, Roseman received a two-year appointment as director of Williams’s study-abroad program, located at Oxford University. As program director she developed more avenues for science students to study and do research at the university.
She was elected to the Faculty Steering Committee and the Committee on Educational Policy, appointed to the Science Executive Committee, the advisory committees for the biochemistry and molecular biology and women’s studies programs and was chair of the Lecture Committee. In the private sector, Roseman served on the board of directors of Travelers Property Casualty as a member of the Investment Committee from 2002 until 2005.
As a biology professor, her research is supported by the National Science Foundation and focuses on an enzyme required for DNA precursor metabolism. Her papers have been published in many journals including, The Journal of Virology, Virology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Roseman received her bachelor of arts from Smith College in 1980 and her doctorate in microbiology from Oregon State University in 1987, where she also was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of biochemistry and biophysics.