Dean of Faculty Ed Wingenbach Named President of Hampshire College

Ripon College announced today that Vice President and Dean of Faculty Ed Wingenbach has been named the eighth president of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His official start date is early August.

“Hampshire has made a phenomenal choice to lead them through this important period in their history. I have no doubt Ed will do great things for them as he has for Ripon since arriving here in 2015,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “We are grateful for Ed’s significant contributions during his tenure at Ripon, which include working with faculty to create our innovative Catalyst curriculum, and most recently, serving as the acting president during my sabbatical last semester.”

During Wingenbach’s tenure at Ripon, he was the chief architect of the Catalyst curriculum, a 20-credit core curriculum focused on building skills sought after by 21st century employers. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC &U) has praised Catalyst as an example of innovation in the liberal arts. Wingenbach’s efforts resulted in significant external support for the new curriculum from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and the National Science Foundation. Ripon’s first Catalyst cohort successfully fulfilled the requirements of the curriculum this past spring during Catalyst Day with a series of student presentations before the public. View student presentations and a video summary from Catalyst Day at ripon.edu/catalyst-day.

Along with Catalyst, Wingenbach helped to increase diversity among the faculty; established the Office of Career and Professional Development and successfully integrated it within the curriculum; merged key academic support services to improve student access; and contributed to the growth and development of the athletics department. During the spring 2019 semester, he served as Ripon College’s acting president.

Hampshire College is a national innovator and leader in higher education, known for empowering its students to design their own degree programs and learn by active inquiry. A member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges as well as the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Hampshire admitted its first students in 1970 as an alternative to traditional liberal arts colleges.

“A central element of Hampshire College’s mission is to transform higher education by experimenting with new approaches. I can’t think of a better description of the work we’ve been doing at Ripon College, as we have set an example for other liberal arts colleges to follow,” said Wingenbach. “Part of my charge at Hampshire will be to reinvigorate in them the spirit of innovation that so clearly animates Ripon College.” Click here to access Hampshire College’s announcement.

Wingenbach joined Ripon College in 2015 from the University of Redlands in California, where he served as associate provost for academic affairs and a professor of political science.

Ripon College will immediately begin the process of identifying an interim dean, followed by the creation of a committee to lead a national search for the next vice president and dean of faculty.


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