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Norwich University's Presidential Search Overview

Norwich University, the oldest Senior Military College (SMC) in the country and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), invited inquiries, nominations and applications to become the University’s 24th president.

Four finalists emerged to lead the University and its unique learning environment, which combines the resolve of a military education with a challenging liberal arts and professional education. In November, the finalists spent two days on campus, meeting with time the university community and offering information about their background, qualifications, and experiences. On December 6, the Presidential Search Committee met for the final time to summarize their observations on each candidate. The Board of Trustees met January 21-25, 2020, in San Francisco. On January 25, the board met to assess, discuss, and make the final decision on which candidate would be offered the opportunity to become the next president.

Application and Nomination Process

Academic Search, Inc. aided in the search for Norwich’s 24th president.

To nominate a candidate for its 24th president, Norwich University conducted a nationwide search, guided by Academic Search, Inc. After a call for nominations, a search committee was formed in fall 2018. In March 2019, consultants met with internal and select external constituent groups on campus and to elicit feedback on desired credentials skills and experiences sought in the next president. Confidential online surveys were sent to external constituent groups (alumni, selective donors, friends of the institution) and after a series of meetings, the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees approved an advertising plan and the position was advertised in print and on social media platforms. Also, a link was placed on the norwich.edu website to take nominations. Academic Search established a password-protected website containing all application materials accessible only to the Search Committee members.

In September 2019, Search Committee members submitted to Academic Search a list of “top 10” (number approximate) candidates of interest; candidates were then chosen for neutral site interviews. In October, finalists were chosen for campus visits and interviewed off-site. In November, finalists visited campus for two days, meeting with the community and taking questions in open forums.

In January 2020, Search Committee Finalist Candidate Assessment Report submitted to the Board of Trustees for their review and then finalist candidates were invited to meet with Board of Trustees in San Francisco. Trustees then chose the next president.

Position Description


12 page PDF (5.9MB)

Presidential Search Committee

The composition and selection of the Norwich University Presidential Search Committee initiated in October 2018 through a self-nomination process of prospective candidates vetted by Norwich shared governance bodies representing Norwich current students, faculty, staff, trustees and volunteer board members and the greater public at large. Each governing body made final recommendations to the Chair of the Norwich University Board of Trustees charged with structuring the Presidential Search Committee.

The following individuals served on the Presidential Search Committee:

Larry Costa ’80, trustee; Maxine Grad, trustee; Bobbi Haney ’79, trustee; Larry Lang ’77, Trustee; Bill Lasky ’69, trustee; Miles Prentice, trustee, Phil Soucy ’73, trustee, committee chair; Landers Symes ’84, trustee; Tom Leavitt, president/CEO, Northfield Savings Bank, Community representative; Cadet Ethan Hagstrom ’20, Cadet representative; Blaine Hawkins, trustee; Sarah Kazmierczak ’20, civilian student representative; Janet Mara ’05, senior director of administration, College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, staff representative; Tony Johnson ’94, chair, College of Liberal Arts Visiting Committee (Board of Fellows), COL. Frank Leija, USA M’06; Lauren Wobby ’84, chief financial officer, Cabinet representative; Bob Young ’00, trustee; Allison Crowson M’06, academic program manager, College of Graduate and Continuing Studies representative, Professor Lea Williams – English, College of Liberal Arts representative, Professor Robert Knapik – physics, College of Science and Mathematics representative; Professor Michael Prairie ’83 – engineering, College of Professional Schools representative


David Whaley
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Committee Liaison


Andrea Warren Hamos, Ph.D.
Vice President for Consulting Operations and Senior Consultant
Academic Search Inc.

Maya Kirkhope
Senior Consultant
Academic Search Inc.

Article Index

“To give our youth an education that shall be American in its character – to enable them to act as well as to think – to execute as well as to conceive – to tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them – to make moral, patriotic, efficient, and useful citizens, and to qualify them for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen in this free republic.”

First Published — 1843 Catalog

Internationalized Education

Norwich University values and actively supports opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be globally engaged.

We host a diverse student body of international students who come to Norwich to pursue their academic goals.

We support our faculty by empowering them to travel, teach, and engage in research overseas to build intercultural proficiency and incorporate international perspectives into their teaching.

Our U.S. students take advantage of CityLAB:Berlin, an instructional location in Germany, and a host of partner programs for education abroad and international service learning on all six continents. For the full breadth of our international offerings, contact the NU International Center

Success After Norwich

Norwich students turn their passions and experiences into real-world opportunities, internships, and careers, thanks to one-on-one career advising, academic mentoring, and a network of thousands of alumni and parents ready to offer advice and networking.

Norwich’s 27,000-plus alumni span the globe, living and leading as entrepreneurs, advancing science and technology, improving communities, and serving our nation’s military. Their affinity for Norwich extends to every student and graduate, and they love to come back, give back, and pay it forward.

  • “No one cared about my gender or physiological capabilities,” Bernheim said, reflecting on Army Ranger School. “They cared that I did the work.” Read More
    Rebekah “Rose” Bernheim ’14 10th Woman in U.S. History to Graduate Army Ranger School
  • “When it came time to expand Studio 355, I made a conscious effort to hire Norwich graduates because I know what they were taught...” Read More
    Joe Fisher 10 & M’11 Founder, Studio 355 Architecture
  • “I love that a small chunk of the research I’m doing will go toward the reduction of nutrients in the ocean and cleaning the water.” Read More
    Elizabeth Ells ’18 Graduate Student in Oceanography, UMass-Dartmouth
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Accreditation and Recognition

Regional Accreditation Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), known formerly as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC). Learn more about Norwich University’s NECHE 2020 Comprehensive Report here.
National Recognition The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have designated Norwich University as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.
State Authorization Norwich University has been approved by the Vermont Agency of Education to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Participation in NC-SARA provides Norwich University with reciprocity to offer online/distance learning programs to residents of the other NC-SARA states.
Professional Accreditation Norwich University's Project Management concentration in both the MBA and Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance programs is accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC).
Program Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Norwich University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education — ccneaccreditation.org.

The program is also approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing.

Program Accreditation Norwich University's Civil Engineering & Environmental Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Program Accreditation Norwich University's Architecture program is accredited by the National Architecture Accreditation Board.
Program Accreditation Norwich University is a member of the Associate of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
Program Accreditation Norwich University is a member of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium.
Program Accreditation Norwich University's MBA program, BS in Management and BS in Accounting are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Assessment Reports:
School of Business


Athletic Program Norwich University's Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
Education Programs Norwich University's education preparation programs are accredited by Vermont’s Agency of Education’s Result’s Oriented Program Approval (ROPA)

Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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