GOSHEN, Ind. — Rebecca Stoltzfus has been appointed as Goshen College’s 18th president by a unanimous vote of the college’s board of directors and the board of the Mennonite Education Agency. She will take office Nov. 1.
Stoltzfus, a 1983 Goshen graduate, is vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of human nutrition at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
“Rebecca has an outstanding record as an executive leader, administrator, teacher and scholar,” said Conrad Clemens, chair of the Goshen board of directors and associate dean for graduate medical education at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
“She understands the complexities and rapid changes we are experiencing in higher education. And, as a critically thinking problem solver, she will bring extensive experience from other fine institutions of higher education as she comes to serve her alma mater.”
On May 24, Stoltzfus was announced as the candidate of choice by the presidential search committee and visited campus June 14-15 to meet with members of the campus community.
“I am compelled by Goshen’s innovative strengths in global education, experiential learning and excellent liberal arts education,” Stoltzfus said. “I see a bright future for this college, and I am humbled and excited by this opportunity to be a part of creating it.”
During her campus visit, Stoltzfus gave a public presentation and named seven values that will guide her leadership: relationships, truth, excellence, stewardship, diversity, growth and enthusiasm.
“Organizations run at the speed of trust,” she said, highlighting relationships. “Social capital is created one room, one conversation at a time.”
Stoltzfus studied chemistry at Goshen and received master’s and doctoral degrees in human nutrition from Cornell. Before joining the Cornell faculty in 2002, she taught human nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Her ongoing research focuses on the causes and consequences of malnutrition in women and children in low-income countries.
As a vice provost, Stoltzfus oversees initiatives to enhance undergraduate instruction and support inclusivity and academic success. She also has experience cultivating major financial gifts for the university. Since 2011, she has been part of the leadership team of Engaged Cornell, a university-wide public engagement initiative.
Stoltzfus is married to Kevin Miller, a 1985 Goshen graduate. They are parents of Lydia, a senior majoring in mathematics, and Gabe, a sophomore majoring in environmental science. Her parents are alums Victor and Marie Stoltzfus of Goshen, and her father was president of Goshen College from 1984 to 1996.
Stoltzfus will succeed James E. Brenneman, who served as president since 2006 and ended his tenure June 30. Provost Ken Newbold is serving as interim president.