Worcester Polytechnic Institute - President
Worcester Polytechnic Institute seeks a bold, innovative, and values-driven leader with vision, global perspective, and a student-centered sensibility to continue its mission to transform lives, turn knowledge into action to confront global challenges, and revolutionize STEM through distinctive and inclusive education, projects, and research. The 17th president of WPI will recognize the essential nature of preparing and supporting future scientists, engineers, and business leaders in their journeys to become the empathetic, collaborative, and resourceful STEM professionals the world needs now.
One of the nation’s first technological universities, WPI is an innovator in higher education and a leader in balancing teaching and research. Today, colleges and universities across the world turn to WPI’s Center for Project-Based Learning to learn ways to advance high-impact practices on their campuses. At all levels, WPI students create their own educational journeys. Undergraduate students report lasting professional and personal benefits of experiential, hands-on learning through project work that matters to society. For graduate students, immersion in research means they, too, contribute to changing the world, and themselves, for the better.
WPI’s next president will take the helm of a globally recognized STEM institution with a $280 million operating budget, an endowment of approximately $600 million, a comprehensive philanthropic and research campaign on track to reach $500 million, and a global network of 40,000 committed and connected alumni. This is an exciting time for WPI, with amazing opportunities for its next president to build upon the leadership of President Laurie A. Leshin and the inspired engagement of the entire WPI community. Across more than 70 degree programs, WPI students are immersed in real-world situations, working alongside public and private partners and their faculty advisors to develop solutions to socially relevant problems. External partners are also significantly involved in research, which has grown exponentially. Continued investment is planned to support faculty and students who are working together on some of humanity’s most significant challenges, from improving health to addressing the risks and impacts of climate change.
From leadership in project-based learning to its growing purpose-driven research enterprise, WPI is a community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni making an impact in higher education and beyond.
At every juncture of the student experience are WPI’s faculty—highly active and engaged teachers, leaders, mentors, researchers, and scholars committed to the whole student. Staff are equally dedicated to the WPI mission and the focus on its inspiring students and supporting them on their chosen academic and co-curricular journeys. With diversity, equity, and inclusion as a priority—and a plan to heighten a sense of belonging for all community members—WPI is committed to making systemic changes with lasting impact. These efforts are recognized nationally. In 2020 and 2021, WPI received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which honors U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. WPI recently completed a successful 10-year review of its accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The university was commended for its strength in planning and evaluation and its focus on student success, well-being, and outcomes; purpose-driven education and research; and examining and strengthening its culture.
The continued positive trajectory of WPI requires an understanding of the increasingly challenging and dynamic environment of higher education. At WPI, these opportunities include:
- Collaboratively leading the community to set a future course that builds upon, strengthens, and grows the unique features of WPI’s purpose-driven education, projects, and research
- Fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging as part of a vibrant and caring community that prioritizes mental health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff
- Improving access and affordability for students and their families
- Cultivating and growing philanthropic support, new revenue sources, and strategic partnerships, and being purposeful in aligning resources with university goals and priorities
WPI’s 17th president will have an engaging, courageous, and collaborative leadership style and strategic, financial, and operational strengths; bring emotional intelligence and caring to their work; and have the personal energy, relationship-building skills, and determination along with confidence, judgment, and humility to seek and respect feedback and the expertise of others as the community aspires to new levels of excellence. A doctoral or terminal degree is desired, although there is openness to candidates with different credentials that would in other ways garner the respect of the campus and broader communities.
WittKieffer is assisting Worcester Polytechnic Institute in this search. Interested individuals can find a copy of the complete position specification under the Related Documents section above. Applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the position specification. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by July 18, 2022. The search will remain open until an appointment is made. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal, via the buttons below. Nominations and inquiries may be directed to Suzanne Teer, Jessica Herrington, and Sandra Chu at WPIPresident@wittkieffer.com
WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity and collaboration, inclusion, problem solving and change making.