President Tracy Announces Retirement Plans
Dr. Saundra Tracy, expressing appreciation to a talented faculty and staff and dedicated Board of Trustees for recent College accomplishments, has announced her decision to retire as Alma College president effective in June 2010.
“The timing is right for Alma College,” said Tracy. “My decision to retire next summer is based not only on the desire of Doug and myself to spend more time with our children and grandchildren, but also because the College is at the right place and time to enter a presidential transition.
President Saundra Tracy
“By the end of next year, I will have served as Alma’s president for almost a decade,” she said. “We will have accomplished most of the goals in our current strategic plan, completed the Open Windows Campaign and gained re-accreditation for the next 10 years. It will be time to develop a new strategic plan and campus master plan and to begin thinking about the next campaign. It is the right time for a presidential transition so the next president can lead these important efforts.”
Tracy, appointed Alma’s 12th president in July 2001, enters the final year of her presidency as the College completes several major facility improvements, brings its largest-ever fund-raising campaign to a successful closure, and implements its innovative collaboration with Equatorialis University in Ecuador.
“It is a privilege to serve as Alma College’s president,” said Tracy. “We have an excellent Board in place and a strong senior leadership team. The campus community is working well together and is committed to the College’s mission. I anticipate that the presidential transition will be a very smooth one.
“I have greatly appreciated the support and friendship of the Alma College community throughout my presidency,” she added. “This is a special place that my husband Doug and I will miss greatly.”
Retirement plans include a move to Bloomington, Ind., where Doug and Saundra will be closer to their adult children and grandchildren. Their son Steven and wife Leslie and daughter live in Indianapolis. Daughter Elaine and husband Brian and their two boys live in Chicago.
“I want to express on behalf of all the members of the Board of Trustees our extreme gratitude for Saundra’s years of devotion to Alma College,” said Board Chair Candace Dugan. “In many ways, she’s irreplaceable. Yet, we’re excited for her as she enters her next adventure.
“The Board’s Executive Committee will consult with the appropriate people to develop and execute a carefully thought-out search process that will engage multiple constituents from the campus community,” said Dugan. “Because of Saundra’s hard work and commitment to Alma College, we will be building on strength.”
Upon Tracy’s appointment in 2001, she engaged students, faculty and staff in a strategic planning process that reinforced the College’s historic commitment to the liberal arts and resulted in the College’s current mission “ to prepare graduates who think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully, and live responsibly as stewards of the world they bequeath to future generations.”
During her presidency, the College has stabilized enrollment, achieving back-to-back record incoming classes in 2007 and 2008 with another strong class anticipated this fall. The College also has developed a leadership emphasis with the creation of the Center for Responsible Leadership; adopted new general education requirements; enacted an academic vision focusing on the development of signature academic programs; established enhanced student services in counseling, wellness, academic and career planning; achieved advances in campus technology; and increased its fiscal strength.
In addition, numerous campus improvements have occurred during her tenure, including the construction of Wright Hall, extensive renovation of McIntyre Mall, and most recently significant academic space improvements and the construction of a LEED-certified athletics arena/convocation center.
Prior to her presidency at Alma College, she was vice president for academic affairs at Mount Union College, dean of the College of Education at Butler University, professor of educational leadership at Lehigh University, an American Council of Education Fellow, and director of education programs at Iacocca Institute of Lehigh University.
She has a Ph.D. in educational administration from Purdue University, an M.Ed. in foreign language instruction from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. in Spanish with minors in sociology and education from Carroll College in Wisconsin.
Posted: Wed, June 3rd, 2009 at 9:59AM