Hampshire Hires President

July 18, 2019

Hampshire College announced Wednesday that Edward Wingenbach will be its next president, filling a role that has been in flux since earlier this year, when alumni revolted against previous leaders’ efforts to respond to financial challenges by merging.

Wingenbach has been acting president at Ripon College in Wisconsin for the last six months. He had been vice president and dean of faculty and a professor of politics and government at Ripon since 2015. Before that, he spent 15 years as an administrator and faculty leader at the University of Redlands in California.

He will take over for Hampshire’s interim president, Ken Rosenthal, early next month. Rosenthal, one of Hampshire’s founders and first employees, was appointed interim president in April, when Miriam E. Nelson resigned in the face of fierce blowback to the idea of merging or closing the college.

Hampshire, located in Amherst, Mass., said in February it would only admit new students this fall who had signed up for early admission or who had earlier deferred enrollment. It is expected to enroll just 15 new students this fall.

The college is in danger of losing accreditation or being placed on probation by the New England Commission of Higher Education. In June, the accreditor put off until November a decision on whether to continue Hampshire’s accreditation, saying that the extension would allow the college time to report on developments including hiring a new president.

In a statement, Wingenbach called for students to tour Hampshire this summer or fall.

“For 50 years, Hampshire College has represented all that is best in higher education,” he said. “I see my charge as helping to reinvigorate its proud legacy of innovation, because its example is too important, and there are too many students who need and want its high-impact, individualized, student-driven education. I believe in Hampshire and I’m excited to help lead it into its second half century.”

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