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The Ripon College Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the unanimous selection of Dr. Victoria N. Folse as the institution’s 14th president. Folse will be the first woman to be formally inaugurated as president of Ripon College in its 170-year history, and will officially assume the presidency in July. Visit ripon.edu/president to read a full release and watch Folse’s introductory remarks to the campus community.

Dear Members of the Ripon College Community,

I writing with a brief update on the status of the search for the next President of Ripon College. The search committee has been busy the last several weeks interviewing and narrowing candidates. We are extremely pleased with the selection of candidates that we’ve interviewed and are optimistic that we will be able to announce a new President before the start of summer.

Some of you have asked if there will be on-campus gatherings or public presentations with finalists. In this age of social media, confidentiality is extremely important to candidates. To attract the best candidates, we have committed to confidentiality of the process and will not be holding any on-campus gatherings. We have excellent representatives from faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and the community at large on the Search Committee.

Thank you for all your help and support with this very important process.


Mark Franzen, Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee 

Dear Members of the Ripon College Community,

The Presidential Search Committee continues to solicit and receive applications for Ripon College’s 14th President. The Presidential Prospectus was published in January, and we are pleased with the responses so far. The solicitation process will continue for the next several weeks and the Committee expects to begin interviewing candidates sometime in March. Ultimately, we hope to make an offer in late spring.

Several of you have asked about the results of the survey distributed to the immediate and extended campus community regarding presidential priorities and qualifications, so I thought I’d share a few numbers. We received more than 550 responses to the five-question survey which included many written comments. One question had more than 150 written comments. In reading the responses, it was clear that our students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends feel passionately about Ripon College and have a range of perspectives. The Committee evaluated and prioritized the survey results in crafting the Prospectus and the results will continue to guide the selection process. Thank you to all who participated.

Many of you have also asked about the selection process for our search firm, given that Russell Reynolds has now hired former president, Zach Messitte. President Messitte was never consulted in the selection process and will not participate in the presidential search. Further, Russell Reynolds has a policy of keeping searches highly confidential within their firm so that employees not directly assigned to the search do not have access to files related to the search.

Committee leadership remains committed to Russell Reynolds continuing the search for Ripon College’s 14th President given their impressive performance not only amid the search firm selection process but throughout the initial stages of the identification and presentation of potential candidates.

Thank you again for all your help and support on this very important process.


Mark Franzen ’83, Trustee and Chair of Presidential Search Committee

Dear Members of the Ripon College Community,

The Presidential Search Committee and our search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, extends our appreciation to everyone who participated in the stakeholder meetings and feedback-gathering process. Your input has been invaluable in helping us create a Presidential Prospectus that outlines key needs and priorities for Ripon’s next president.

With that work completed, the committee is now formally accepting nominations for the Ripon presidency. Nominations may be sent directly to Russell Reynolds Associates at [email protected].

Additional information regarding the search can be found at ripon.edu/presidential-search/.

Over the next several weeks, our search consultants will advertise the position and reach out to their extensive network of contacts for additional suggestions and will begin conversations with nominees and applicants. The search committee will assist with the recruitment process and begin to assess candidates for initial interviews.

Thank you again for all your work on behalf of Ripon.


Mark Franzen ’83, Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Dear Campus Community,

In my role as chair of the Presidential Search Committee, I am writing to share with you the progress that has been made in preparing to launch the search for Ripon’s 14th president.

First, after interviewing several search firms, I am pleased to announce that the College has engaged Russell Reynolds Associates. For more than 50 years, Russell Reynolds has built a reputation as a premier executive search firm known and respected for their depth and breadth of specialized expertise complemented by their high-touch client approach. I’d like to invite all Ripon College constituents to join Russell Reynolds in the coming weeks as they facilitate stakeholder meetings to gather input from our community about the attributes the next president should possess. Furthermore, all constituents will receive an email with a link to a survey asking for their input. Our goal is to have as many members of the Ripon community participate as possible. A presidential search email address will be created in the coming days so that at any point during the search, members of the campus community can share their input.

Second, we have finalized the composition of the Presidential Search Committee. The committee will actively engage the immediate and extended Ripon College community in the search, review the credentials of interested candidates, select a group of finalists to interview, and present to the Board one candidate who they believe is best-prepared to lead the Ripon College into the future. Being a member of this committee will require a significant time commitment, and I am deeply grateful to each of the individuals listed below for their willingness to participate.

Administrative Liaison

Kara Kinas Jankowski, Chief of Staff to the President and Dean of Faculty


Tom Abendroth ’81, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Nick Eastman, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies
Jackie Hanson ’23, current student
Dante Houston ’01, Trustee
Shawn Karsten ’09, Vice President for Advancement, Marketing and Communications
Memuna Khan, Professor of Biology, Chair of the Department of Biology
Linda Kinziger, Director of Financial Aid
Rebecca Matzke, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Ralph Hale Ruppert Distinguished Professor of History
Tom Moniz, Attorney with von Briesen & Roper, s.c., community representative
Connie Moser ’84, Trustee
Travis Nygard, Associate Professor of Art History, co-director of the Caestecker Gallery
Carrie Roca-Dawson ’94, member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors
Lisa Wollan ’78, Trustee
Kimberly Woolley ’94, Trustee

I look forward to sharing updates with you as the search progresses.


Mark Franzen ’83, Trustee and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Members of the Ripon College Community,

I’d like to update you on our plans for the search for Ripon College’s next president. We are taking the initial steps for launching the search process. I am pleased to announce that Mark Franzen ’83 has agreed to chair the search committee. Mark has been a member of the Ripon College Board of Trustees since 2011 and currently serves as secretary and as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.

We are in the process of determining the membership of the search committee. This committee will vet candidates and make a final recommendation of a candidate to the Board. The committee will comprise representatives from a spectrum of the College community, including trustees, members of the faculty, and representatives from the student body, alumni, College staff and administration, and the community.

As the Board has in the past, we plan to retain an executive search firm to work with the search committee to help develop a candidate pool and conduct the evaluation process. We already have asked a number of firms for proposals and hope to have a firm selected in the next few weeks.

Our objective is to launch the search process as soon as possible so that we could have it completed by the start of the 2022 school year. However, the Board recognizes the need to be flexible on timing in pursuit of our primary goal of finding the best person to lead Ripon College in the coming years. We will continue to update you as we move forward. I look forward to working with you during this important period.


Thomas Abendroth ’81, Chair Ripon College Board of Trustees