Manchester University President Jo Young Switzer has announced her plans to retire June 30, 2014, contributing a legacy of strategic and mission-focused leadership that has transformed the University’s academic breadth, financial strength, enrollment and visibility. The Board of Trustees accepted her retirement Wednesday with deep respect and admiration for a job well done. Trustees also acted on their succession plan, naming executive vice president and dean of the College of Pharmacy, Dave McFadden to the presidency, effective July 1, 2014.
As its first female president, Switzer has led her alma mater to critical successes and exciting community collaborations.
“President Switzer has led Manchester at a pace and with a strategic focus unprecedented in the history of Manchester,” said Marsha Link, chair of the Board of Trustees. “She has led from within and has also risen to great respect across higher education as a dynamic and thoughtful leader.”
“Jo Switzer is a transformational national leader,” said Richard Ekman, former president of the 600-member Council of Independent Colleges. “She takes seriously the responsibility to foster the next generation of college leaders.”
President Switzer has served as a mentor to more than 15 prospective and new presidents of higher education in the nation.
Among the transformations at Manchester during the past nine years:
-A 25 percent increase in enrollment
-A new four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy program on a new campus in Fort Wayne with $35 million in seed funds from Lilly Endowment Inc
-More than $89 million has been raised so far, toward the $100 million Students First! Campaign
-The opening of a $17 million Science Center, $8 million Student Union, $9 million Academic Center, $1.5 million classroom and locker room addition – all on a greener North Manchester campus
-The transition from college to university, reflecting the growing complexity of the 124-year-old institution
-Enhanced visibility of Manchester, including national recognition for its volunteer programs, workplace quality, three-year degree and affordable excellence
-A collaborator in initiatives to strengthen northeast Indiana
“During her presidency, Jo has been bold, courageous and always steadfast to the Mission of Manchester University,” said Link. “Her outstanding ability to communicate effectively to a diverse group of stakeholders has created not only greater visibility for the university, but has expanded the impact of the institution in the northeast Indiana community and across higher education.”
When members of the Board of Trustees selected Switzer in 2004, they knew her well. She was Manchester’s vice president and dean for academic affairs and former chair of the Department of Communication Studies. She stepped comfortably into the president’s role, stressing stewardship and accountability.
In anticipation of her retirement, the Board of Trustees appointed a special Succession Planning Committee last spring. Modeling best practices in higher education for succession planning, the ten-member committee of Trustees, faculty and staff began a two-stage approach for selecting the University’s next president. The element of confidentiality was considered essential by the committee primarily to protect the identity of an internal candidate. As a result of the committee’s due diligence and subsequent recommendation, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Dave McFadden to become President of Manchester University, effective July 1, 2014.
A member of the president’s leadership cabinet, McFadden is executive vice president and dean of the College of Pharmacy. He has deep roots in Manchester University and the Church of the Brethren, which founded the school more than 124 years ago.
“Dave is an outstanding selection as Manchester’s next president,” said President Switzer. “He is prepared, has exceptional leadership skills and most importantly, the commitment and desire to see Manchester University do great things.”
“The Board of Trustees believes that Dave McFadden is an outstanding choice for Manchester’s next president,” said Link. “Dave is ready, respected and deeply connected and committed to Manchester. He has led Manchester’s bold enrollment initiatives and his due diligence was instrumental in the Board’s decision to add a professional Doctor of Pharmacy program on a Fort Wayne campus.
“He brings to this presidency a keen understanding of both Manchester’s past, as well as proven experience in bringing innovative and visionary ideas to the University’s future. The variety of his experiences at MU, along with his high energy and dedication to MU’s Mission, will provide continued great leadership that will sustain our thriving university.”
As executive vice president and MU’s former enrollment expert, Dave McFadden spearheaded the Fast Forward three-year degree and Triple Guarantee programs that brought more students to Manchester and garnered national attention.
“Dave has helped people see that Manchester has always been a place of affordable excellence. These programs have been in place for many years and have served as a model for other schools to insure the investment cost of a college degree,” Switzer said. He coordinated the feasibility study that led to the Board of Trustees’ decision to establish a professional Doctor of Pharmacy program on the Fort Wayne campus. He became dean of the College of Pharmacy in May 2012, after six months as interim dean. The four-year school enrolled its second class this fall, and has achieved candidate accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
McFadden is a 1982 graduate of Manchester and earned a Ph.D. in political science at Claremont Graduate University. He led Manchester’s enrollment initiatives beginning in 1993. McFadden has served as executive vice president throughout Switzer’s presidency and also as an assistant professor of political science, with particular interest in environmental policy.
McFadden also is a member of the Board of Trustees of Bethany Theological Seminary. He is a former chair of the boards of the Community Foundation of Wabash County, Manchester Main Street Inc., HOPE community supported agricultural organization, and Manchester Church of the Brethren. He has served as an enrollment management and accreditation consultant to other colleges and universities and as a visiting evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission. Dave and his wife, Renee, a retired elementary teacher and Manchester alumna, reside in North Manchester. They have two adult children, Rachel and Sam, both Manchester graduates.
To learn more about Manchester University, visit www.manchester.edu.