Antioch College’s new president calls the school’s mission “distinctive and brave” and says it is at the forefront of reinventing higher education in America.
Dr. Thomas Manley will become Antioch’s president in March 2016, the college announced Wednesday. He will succeed Mark Roosevelt, whose five-year contract expires at the end of 2015.
Manley will be in his new job prior to an announcement on Antioch’s accreditation status. The small liberal arts college, which was shuttered in 2008 and reopened in 2010, expects to receive word in mid-June on its accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission.
“In my view, nothing is more imperative than the success of Antioch College at this time,” Manley said in a news release. “The determined work of alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, students and President Mark Roosevelt and his dedicated senior team has been nothing less than inspirational since the decision to reopen.”
Current enrollment at the college is 266.
Manley has been president of Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Ore., since 2003. He also has held administrative posts at Pitzer College in California.
More than 200 candidates applied for the job, according to Antioch, which is located in the Greene County village of Yellow Springs.
“He is compatible with Antioch College values and traditions, and I am convinced he is the right person to lead Antioch into a new era,” said presidential search committee chairman Malte von Matthiessen.
Manley said Antioch’s history and vision attracted him to the job.
“The college’s start-up mentality, focus on entrepreneurial solutions, and willingness to problem-solve ecosystem level questions are instinctively correct,” he said. “American higher education — which has long been a beacon in the world — must seek reinvention and I am among those who believe Antioch is doing just that.”
Antioch touts itself as having been the only liberal arts college in the country with a required work component for more than 100 years.
Frances Horowitz, chairwoman of the college’s board of trustees, said Manley has a record of being “thoughtful, constructive, creative, innovative and successful.”
“The Board of Trustees looks forward to working with him to foster the continued growth of Antioch, to expand our sources of revenue, to pursue the idea of the Antioch College Village (an exploratory multigenerational housing project on campus), and to explore the feasibility of other entrepreneurial opportunities,” Horowitz said.
According to Antioch, more than 8,000 people have provided donations totaling nearly $80 million since 2009.
“While there have been better-resourced colleges, certainly, none that I know of has been braver and more steadfast over time in delivering a liberal arts education aimed so squarely at making a difference in the world,” Manley said.
Manley is a native of Baltimore, Md. He graduated from Towson University before earning a master’s degree in Asian Studies and a Doctorate of Education from the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif.
He is married to Susanne Hashim and they have a daughter. Manley also has a son, a stepdaughter and stepson.
Andi Adkins, vice president for finance and operations, will serve as interim president beginning in January.