Welcome, Dr. Jeffrey P. Stein

Jeffrey P. Stein
Jeffrey P. Stein

On March 19, 2023, the Mary Baldwin University Board of Trustees elected Dr. Jeffrey P. Stein, vice president for strategic initiatives & partnerships and assistant professor of English at Elon University, to be the university’s 10th president. Stein officially began his role on July 1, 2023.

I am honored and humbled to be chosen as Mary Baldwin University’s 10th president and thrilled to be joining this dynamic community, which for 181 years has made courageous decisions to change lives through inclusive, experiential, and student-centered education.

President Jeff Stein

About President Stein

Jeff and Chrissy Stein

A values-driven and inclusive leader, Stein has more than 30 years of higher education experience across academic, student engagement, and administrative areas of university life. Before being named president at MBU, he spent 21 years at Elon University in North Carolina, where he led the development and implementation of the 10-year strategic plan Boldly Elon.

He also oversaw Elon’s student professional development center, leadership and professional development, professional and continuing studies, and cultural and special programs. He led the creation of regional centers in major U.S. cities to provide students and alumni with immersive professional experiences, networking opportunities, and coursework, and also co-led an initiative to develop a groundbreaking student mentoring model.

During his time as a student affairs dean at Elon from 2002 to 2010, Stein spearheaded a campus-wide initiative to design a $150 million residential plan focused on integrating living and learning across the campus. Stein joined Elon’s senior staff in 2010, serving as chief of staff and secretary to the board of trustees for two Elon presidents.

Throughout his career, Stein has been a strong advocate and supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion. His doctoral dissertation focused on presidential roles in shaping campus culture and climate to ensure access and success for the broadest range of students. Similarly, his work on Elon’s strategic plan resulted in campus initiatives focused on increasing representational diversity; building support for diverse students, faculty, and staff; and enhancing intercultural competencies.

With skills in relationship-building, high-level communications, and fundraising, Stein also served as primary prospect manager for dozens of Elon supporters over the years, and collaborated to raise more than $4 million in endowment and annual gifts to support the growth of Jewish life and Jewish studies. He was frequently the university point person for local officials, business leaders, and non-profit partners.

Stein began his tenure at Elon in 2002 as assistant professor of English, teaching about writing, literature, and identity, utilizing multiple engaged learning pedagogies. Beyond the classroom, he has developed collaborative faculty-staff teams that have built nationally recognized engaged learning programs.

Stein earned a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Georgia, a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Colorado State University, a master’s degree in English from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Beloit College in Wisconsin. His publications include articles and book chapters on governing boards, the residential campus, inclusive campuses, multi-faith leadership, academic and student affairs partnerships, and service learning, as well as poems appearing in national literary magazines.

Stein’s parents were the first in their family to attend college, and his grandparents survived the Holocaust and Russian pogroms to make a new life in the United States. His wife, Chrissy Stein, is also an English professor, and their children, Lena and Benny, are graduates of Carleton College and Wesleyan University, respectively.
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The Search

The MBU Presidential Search Committee — co-chaired by Trustees Helen Forster ’83 and Harvey Westbrook — unanimously recommended Stein to the Board of Trustees in March 2023. The 15-member committee was composed of faculty, staff, alumni, recent graduates, senior leadership, trustees, and former trustees, and worked in partnership with executive search firm Academic Search.

The committee gleaned insight from the broader university community and recruited a highly qualified and talented pool of candidates; then reviewed scores of applications, conducted two rounds of candidate interviews, and identified four finalists. Those candidates traveled to MBU for a final round of meetings with select groups of students, administrators, faculty, and staff. After the committee’s unanimous endorsement, the Board of Trustees announced Stein as the university’s tenth president on April 14, 2023.

Welcoming the New President

Jeff Stein’s experiences across academia demonstrate leadership in and out of the classroom, his mastery of strategic planning lifts all campus stakeholders, and his ability to lead in challenging times speaks to a critical moment in higher education. Above all, Jeff understands the power of higher education to improve the lives of students and their families, and he is compelled by the Mary Baldwin mission. This is a historic moment for MBU, and also an exciting one for the entire university community.

MBU Board of Trustees Chair Gabrielle G. “Gabby” McCree ’83

Jeff is a sharp, dynamic, and collaborative leader who consistently impressed us throughout the interview process. His outstanding strategic and analytical skills include a profound understanding of the current challenges facing higher education and MBU’s continuing need to transform. His extensive experience with long-term strategic transformations at Elon made it clear that he was the right person for the position.

MBU Trustee and Search Committee Co-Chair Harvey Westbrook

We are excited and confident about his ability to inspire and motivate the MBU community to fulfill its mission and strengthen Mary Baldwin for the future.

MBU Trustee and Search Committee Co-Chair Helen Forster ’83

Dr. Jeff Stein has provided significant leadership in Elon’s development as a national university over the past 21 years. He is a passionate advocate for student success and has been a valued member of the Elon community with his positive and creative spirit. With Jeff’s deep understanding of the power of higher education to transform lives, we look forward to seeing the impact of his leadership at Mary Baldwin University.

Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book

The Board of Trustees of Mary Baldwin University has made a brilliant choice in selecting Dr. Jeff Stein as its next president. Jeff is an outstanding leader with vision who embodies creativity, collaboration, and an intense focus on student success. He combines these qualities with kindness, inclusiveness, empathy, and humor, and is widely regarded as one of the most respected and trusted senior administrators at Elon. Dr. Stein is a gifted teacher, a sought-after mentor, and a builder of campus community. His spouse, Chrissy Stein, also a gifted educator, will be a strong advocate for the entire MBU family.

Dr. Leo M. Lambert, President Emeritus and Professor of Education, Elon University, and Co-author of Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College

Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Stein on his new role as President of Mary Baldwin University! As a student life expert, he will strengthen the university’s commitment to creating a well-rounded and inclusive educational experience for all students. He is a caring and collaborative leader who spearheaded key components of Elon’s strategic plan and provided significant guidance to help the campus navigate the pandemic. Dr. Stein approaches life with the same unshakeable belief in the capacity of students to learn, lead, and make a difference that inspired Mary Baldwin’s founding in the 1840s.

Dr. Aswani K. Volety, Chancellor, the University of North Carolina Wilmington