Rebecca Matzke named interim vice president and dean of faculty

Ripon College announced the appointment of Professor of History Rebecca Matzke as interim vice president and dean of faculty. Matzke, who has served on the Ripon College faculty since 2003, replaces Ed Wingenbach, who last month was named the eighth president of Hampshire College.
 
“Rebecca Matzke is a scholar, a teacher and someone who cares deeply about the future of the liberal arts,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “She is respected by her faculty colleagues as someone who is experienced and thoughtful.
I have full confidence she will carry forward the important momentum we’ve built within our academic programs and our signature Catalyst curriculum.”

Matzke has served in a variety of faculty leadership roles at Ripon, including chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee and Faculty Development Committee, co-director of the Center for Politics and the People, and associate dean for faculty development, where she has coordinated programming for faculty, managed assessment, and worked on the Catalyst Task Force and the HLC leadership team.
 
“I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve Ripon in a new role,” said Matzke. “This is a special place, with students, faculty, and staff who believe in the vitality of a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. It’s a pleasure to be part of this great community, and I look forward to our important work ahead.”

Her book, Deterrence through Strength: British Naval Power and Foreign Policy under Pax Britannica, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2011. She is a frequent author and speaker about World War I, Cold War missiles, and British diplomatic and naval history. She was a featured historian in a 2019 Wisconsin National Guard documentary, “Dawn of the Red Arrow,” about the beginnings of the 32nd Red Arrow Division in Wisconsin during World War I.
 
An award-winning professor, Matzke teaches courses on World War I, public history, world history, the British Empire, and 20th-century Europe.
 
She received her master’s and Ph.D. in history from Cornell University and her undergraduate degree in history and English from the University of Nebraska.

Efforts are currently underway to create a committee charged with leading a national search for Ripon’s next vice president and dean of faculty.


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