Readying the Torch
President Dana Mohler-Faria announced during an employee town meeting that he plans to step down at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. An email sent to employees following the meeting read: “After much thought and extensive reflection on all that we have accomplished together over the past 23 years and the current strong position of the university, I have decided the 2014-15 academic year will be my final one as Bridgewater’s president.”
President Mohler-Faria was inaugurated in October 2002, after serving as Bridgewater’s vice president of administration and finance. In his inaugural address, he said, “Achieving excellence is more than just the triumph...it's about the journey itself,” a phrase he repeated in his letter to the BSU community.
Excellence has been a continuous theme throughout President Mohler-Faria’s tenure. During his time at the helm, the institution achieved university status. He also oversaw the hiring of 75 new, full-time tenure-track faculty positions, erected10 new buildings and comprehensively modernized numerous others. On the academic front, President Mohler-Faria presided over a much-improved six-year graduation rate rapidly closing in on 60 percent – well exceeding the national average for BSU’s mission class – and a 76 percent increase in the number of degrees awarded.
“Together, we have been steadfast in advancing the original vision of Horace Mann and so many of the other great educational pioneers of the commonwealth, all while remaining focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning and making our environment more diverse and vibrant,” the president wrote. “In doing so, we have transformed a very respectable, comprehensive, regional college into a first-rate, flagship university with global reach.”
Before making the announcement at the town meeting, the president recalled walking across campus on a recent night when he felt the presence of Bridgewater’s past presidents and considered the impact they’d had.
In approximately 15 months, President Mohler-Faria will join this list, leaving behind an institution “that is clearly on a strong, upward trajectory and extremely well positioned to ascend to new levels of excellence.”
A search will soon get underway, with a goal of finding BSU’s next leader by late fall.
Read the president’s full message below.