Dr. Andrea Young appointed Ripon College’s interim president

Ripon College’s Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Andrea Young will serve as the interim president of the College beginning in January 2022. As the first woman to lead Ripon College in its 170-year history, she will replace Dr. Zach Messitte, who announced last week that he would be stepping down as Ripon’s 13th president at the end of the fall semester.

“Dr. Young understands what makes Ripon such a special place and has been a stellar administrator and professor at the College for more than a decade,” said Tom Abendroth, Ripon College Class of 1981 and chair of Ripon College’s Board of Trustees. “She has been a champion of the student experience and led the way on a number of important initiatives, including making better use of technology in the classroom and data in decision-making.”

Currently serving as Ripon’s vice president for finance and director of strategic initiatives, Young oversees the business, financial and information technology functions of the College. She is the primary administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees on matters related to finance, investment, construction contracts and approval, risk management and audit. In addition, she is spearheading Ripon’s exploration of a partnership with Marian University in Fond du Lac.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Ripon College as the interim president,” Young said. “I have seen firsthand the transformative potential of a Ripon College education, and I am deeply committed to promoting our student-centered approach to living and learning.”

Prior to her role as vice president for finance, Young served as the acting dean of faculty for a semester and received promotion and tenure to be an associate professor of mathematics in 2016. The winner of several teaching awards, she has published multiple peer-reviewed articles, including several co-written with Ripon students and faculty. She is the principal investigator on a successful National Science Foundation grant to improve undergraduate STEM education.

Young also served as special assistant to the president and liaison to the Board of Trustees where she led a number of strategic initiatives that focused on the student experience, including promoting academic success.

Young received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas-Austin and her B.S. in mathematics with a minor in Italian from Pennsylvania State University.

Details about a national search for Ripon College’s 14th president will be forthcoming regarding the selection of a search firm, a College-wide search committee and a timeline for the process.


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