Sandy Pfeiffer, president of Warren Wilson College since July 2006, announced to the college’s Board of Trustees on Feb. 11 that he is retiring from his position in June 2012.
“At the time of my retirement, I will have served six years as the sixth president of the college,” Pfeiffer said in an e-mail message to Warren Wilson students, faculty and staff. “I feel very fortunate to have been part of this special community.
“In the 16 months remaining in my presidency, I’ll work to prepare the campus for the person who follows me in this job. We have much to do.”
Trustee chair Joel Adams of Asheville said, “Sandy Pfeiffer has done a superlative job of leading the college for the past five years, and we’re looking forward to working with him over the next 16 months.”
During Pfeiffer’s presidency, undergraduate and graduate enrollment at Warren Wilson has surpassed 1,000 students for the first time in its history. The college’s endowment also has grown from about $34 million to $54 million during a turbulent economy. Under Pfeiffer’s leadership the college adopted a sustainability decision-making model and a strategic plan for the period 2010-2015.
Warren Wilson also has received an impressive number of national recognitions during the Pfeiffer presidency, including being selected every year since 2007 as one of the Sierra Club’s “Coolest Schools” nationwide in the fight against global warming. The college has attracted significant national media coverage, including features in The New York Times Sunday Magazine and on CNN International.
Before coming to Warren Wilson, Pfeiffer was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He was interim president of Ramapo – New Jersey’s public liberal arts college – from July 2004 to June 2005. Pfeiffer also was a tenured professor of international studies at Ramapo.
Pfeiffer previously worked for five years at state universities in Texas and, more recently, for 24 years at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. There he was vice president for academic affairs, department head and professor, helping to develop undergraduate and graduate programs in technical communication that rank among the nation’s best.
Founded in 1894 as the Asheville Farm School providing a formal education to boys from the Appalachian region, Warren Wilson became a two-year coeducational college in 1942 and a four-year college in 1967. It is nationally known for its learning Triad of academics, work and service, as well as for its strong environmental and international emphases.