The Misericordia University Board of Trustees and the Conference for Mercy Higher Education have selected and confirmed Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., as the 13th president of the institution. He will assume the presidency on July 1, 2013 at the beginning of the new academic year.
"I am very excited and honored to be selected as the next president of Misericordia University, which has an impressive reputation for linking the liberal arts and sciences to a career-oriented education,'' Dr. Botzman stated. "The University has an impressive faculty and staff who know how to engage the students in learning, both inside and outside the classroom. It is an honor to follow Dr. (Michael A.) MacDowell's successful 15 years and be entrusted with the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy. My wife, Vanessa, and I were warmly greeted by the campus community and are looking forward to joining in the growing record of success at Misericordia University.''
Dr. Botzman has served as vice president for business and finance at St. Mary's College of Maryland since 2004, where he is also a professor of economics. His areas of responsibility have included finance, human resources, facilities and maintenance, information technology, government relations, athletics, sailing, and public safety. He also served as interim vice president for development and secretary to the Board of Trustees in 2009-10.
Dr. Botzman previously served for 15 years on the faculty at Mount Union College in Ohio. "As president of Misericordia University, I will need to convey the pivotal roles of teaching, research and service to a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies, especially in matching curriculum and program to students' needs," Dr. Botzman said, explaining how his background in both teaching and administration will aid his transition to the new leadership post. Botzman also served as the associate academic dean during the 2003-04 academic year and as director of international studies from 1993 to 1997. He was a visiting professor and Fulbright Scholar at the University of the Americas in Mexico City, Mexico, teaching there four times from 1992 through 1996. He was named an American Council on Education Fellow in 2002. Dr. Botzman worked in industry prior to becoming a faculty member and is the inventor of 12 U.S. patents.
"Dr. Botzman's background and expertise matched Misericordia University's agenda for new leadership perfectly. He brings significant enthusiasm for this important leadership position, and a broad array of successful experiences that will enable him to build on the momentum our University has experienced over these last 15 years," said Misericordia University Trustee Christopher Borton, who chaired the presidential search committee.
The search committee, which was comprised of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and a student, was thrilled to recommend Dr. Botzman to the full Board of Trustees. "Over the last 15 years, the prestige of an education at Misericordia has grown immensely as the University has become regionally acclaimed and nationally recognized for providing an education steeped in rigorous academics, personal attention and in imbuing in each student a sense of service to others,'' Mr. Borton added. "We know Dr. Botzman is the leader we need to build off of that momentum, continue the Mercy tradition, and take the University to the next level."
Dr. Botzman earned a B.S. in engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He also holds an M.A. in economics and a Ph.D. in business administration from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Dr. Botzman was a 2011 participant in Harvard University's Institute for Executive Management. Dr. Botzman and his wife, Vanessa, have one daughter, Gabriela, a high school senior.
Misericordia University launched a national search to succeed President MacDowell shortly after he announced his retirement in April. Dr. MacDowell is currently serving in his 15th year at Misericordia. The presidential search committee received 69 applications from a diverse and impressive group of candidates from across the country. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer the position to Dr. Botzman following extensive interviews on campus with the four finalists.
"Tina and I are delighted that Dr. Botzman will be taking over as Misericordiaâs president on July 1,'' said President MacDowell. "Tom possesses the background and the credentials to make him an outstanding president. His years of leadership in higher education at both private and public colleges, his interest and experience in international higher education programs, and his demeanor fit well with the people and programs that make up the University. His wife Vanessa's background as a nurse and her involvement with the communities in which she has lived will also be a true asset to Misericordia and the region.''