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Message from the President

I am writing to let you know that I plan to retire as the seventh president of Nichols College at the end of this academic year, in June 2021. By that time, I will have had the enormous privilege of serving as the president of this remarkable college for ten years. These years have been the highlight of my professional career in so many ways, and I am truly grateful to the Nichols community for your partnership, your support, and your commitment to our mission, and to our incredible students who are at the center of all we do.  

The Board of Trustees has formed a Presidential Search Committee to select my successor. More information will be coming soon from Board Chair John Davis. 

We have accomplished so much together over the past decade. We achieved record enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and we quadrupled the endowment through completion of the College’s largest capital campaign. In support of our commitment to students and their professional preparedness, we added or expanded high-impact learning experiences and sharpened our focus on leadership training with programs such as the Institute for Women’s Leadership. We also built Fels Student Center and the Academic Building and completed an addition and major renovations in athletics. Your hard work and dedication to our continued success made these milestones possible.    

My decision to retire at this time was based on many considerations. I want to assure you, however, that none of these reflected a lack of confidence in the future of Nichols College. While the global pandemic has slowed our pace as we work to actualize our vision to become “a college of choice for business and leadership education,” I am confident that we will quickly regain our footing and emerge stronger than ever. Now I am ready to devote more time and attention to my amazing family, including four grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 9, and my 94-year-old father, and I am looking forward to having much more time with Dave, the world’s best husband, who has been my rock and strongest supporter for 47 years.     

As I prepare for this new chapter in my life, I reflect on the deep affection and appreciation I have developed for my colleagues, our students and our dedicated alumni, who embraced me as a Bison from day one. Though many activities have been restricted this fall, I continue to be energized and inspired by our students through club events, one-on-one conversations, and in the classroom. I will miss these interactions the most when I retire and hope to have more opportunities to personally connect with students and alumni this spring    

In one of my first remarks to the Nichols community, at the May 2011 Commencement Eve Dinner, I said: 

All of us in this remarkable community will connect, partner, dialogue, agree, agree to disagree, plan, dream, have some calm waters and no doubt some white-knuckled times as we navigate the white waters created by the chaos and ambiguity of today’s business and educational environments. But I am confident we will honor the past, build upon the momentum of the present, and chart a clear and compelling path to the future.  

I believe those words did characterize our journey together and will continue to guide Nichols to its next milestone. While we have achieved much, even through rough waters, we have much more to do, both within the remainder of my term and beyond. We have a busy and challenging year ahead, but I am excited to work together to solidify our course to the future and prepare Nichols for its next leader.  

I wish you all the best, 

Susan