Presidential Search

Updates on the Search for Mary Baldwin University’s Tenth President

The search for MBU’s tenth president is underway after Dr. Pamela R. Fox announced that she will retire on June 30, 2023, after her 20-year presidential term.

The Mary Baldwin Board of Trustees is charged with the responsibility of selecting a new president, and attracting a highly qualified and talented pool of candidates for the position is of utmost importance. The Board has appointed a search committee (see below) to conduct the search and engaged an executive search firm, Academic Search, to partner and assist in the process.

Updates regarding the search process will be communicated to the campus community via email and posted on this website throughout the upcoming year.

Search Communications

Presidential Search Committee

The MBU Board of Trustees has appointed a search committee to lead the process of selecting a new president. Representing a wide range of important stakeholders across the University community, members include Trustees (current and emeriti), faculty, staff, the administration, and recent alumni. Co-chairs and Trustees Harvey Westbrook and Helen Forster ’83 will lead the committee’s work.

Committee members will bring both individual expertise and broad understanding of Mary Baldwin’s mission, culture, and strategic goals to the search for the university’s next president.

Opportunities for collaborative community input will also be an important part of the process.

Read the full Board of Trustees Charge to the Search Committee.

Search Committee Members

  • Helen Forster ’83, Co-Chair of the Committee & Trustee, Owner of Diamond Outlet
  • Harvey Westbrook, Co-Chair of the Committee & Trustee, Sr. Director and Assistant Chief Economist at FINRA
  • H.C. Stuart Cochran, Trustee Emeritus, Staunton Community Leader
  • Constance Dierickx, PhD, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, President of CD Consulting Group
  • Dr. Adam Fajardo, Assistant Professor of English
  • Sarah Flanagan, Parent & Trustee Emerita, Vice President for Government Relations and Policy Development at NAICU
  • Christina Harris ‘14, Outreach and Instruction Librarian
  • Louise McNamee ’70, Former Board Chair & Trustee Emerita, retired partner from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer firm
  • Catherine “Cat” Ferris McPherson ‘78, MBA, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Business and Associate Professor of Business and Marketing Communication
  • Jane Miller ’76, Former Board Chair and Trustee Emerita
  • Dr. Johanna Newman DNAP, CRNA, Founding Program Director, Nurse Anesthesiology Program
  • Andrew Shipp DPT ‘18, Clinic Director and Doctor of Physical Therapy at PT Solutions Physical Therapy
  • Sean Simplicio, Executive Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer
  • Megan Speth, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Director of Financial Aid
  • Charles “Will” Webb, Sr. Vice President and Dean of the Palmer College of Professional Studies.
  • Destiny Woodall ‘20, Office of Inclusive Excellence Fellow and Alumni Ambassador Fellow in the Office of University Advancement

Ex-Officio Members

  • Gabby McCree ’83, Chair of the Board of Trustees, English Instructor and Community Volunteer
  • Liesel Crosier, Associate Vice President of University Communication and Editorial Direction
  • Megan McAllister MEd ‘18, Sr. Director of Board Operations & Principal Gift Officer to the President

Dr. Fox to Retire in June 2023

Dr. Pamela R. Fox, Mary Baldwin’s ninth president, announced that she will retire from her position at the end of the 2022–23 fiscal year on June 30, 2023.

During Fox’s 20-year tenure, Mary Baldwin launched many strategic initiatives to propel growth and success, including launching a college for healthcare professionals on a new branch campus, transitioning from a college to a co-ed university, emphasizing a strong commitment to diversity and access to higher education, and focusing on meeting student and societal needs through programmatic innovations.

About Mary Baldwin University

Mary Baldwin University (MBU) is a small, private university enrolling 2,184 students in online and in-seat programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. With 106 full-time faculty members, the university is organized into three academic colleges: the Palmer College of Professional Studies; the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

MBU’s historic main campus is located on 58 hilltop acres in downtown Staunton, Virginia — regularly named one of the best small towns in America. Just seven miles away, the health sciences branch campus is located in the healthcare corridor of nearby Fishersville. The picturesque Shenandoah Valley provides a stunning natural backdrop for both campuses, and the urban centers of Washington, D.C. and Richmond are within a few hours’ drive.

U.S. News & World Report ranks MBU among the nation’s Top Performers for Social Mobility, and Washington Monthly among the Best Bang for the Buck, Southeast Colleges.

Founded in 1842, MBU began with a then-revolutionary idea: that women, like men, should be well educated. Namesake and co-founder Mary Julia Baldwin devoted her life to that mission, stewarding the institution through the Civil War and transforming it into a thriving women’s college by the end of her remarkable life.

Under the leadership of President Pamela R. Fox, the recent years of MBU’s evolution have continued this legacy of innovation. The college of health sciences opened in 2014 with a custom-designed flagship building that reflects MBU’s dedication to interprofessional healthcare education and advanced instructional technology. In 2016, the institution became a university to reflect its growing range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. A strategic shift in 2017 brought full coeducational status as the first men enrolled in residential programs on the Staunton campus.

Maintaining a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout its programming and offerings, the university launched overarching new initiatives in 2020 to support its diverse student body, including the appointment of an inaugural chief diversity officer in summer 2021.

Just this spring, MBU announced the creation of the Palmer College with a major gift from alumna and former financial services and human resources executive Susan Nolan Palmer ’67. The new college is poised to deliver career-focused online and hybrid educational experiences that prepare students to meet the needs of the new economy.

MBU’s entrepreneurial spirit drives this unprecedented growth and momentum, underpinned by a radical belief in student potential and the power of educational opportunity. The university community together strives to push forward new methods and innovative programs in higher education to help meet student and societal needs.