As members of this blog you've shown an interest in
Shimer College and its future in Chicago.
Many of you are still part of the COSMOS
mailing list but some are not.
We'd like to share with you some information which
was sent out to the entire internal community.
An official press release will be forthcoming in
the next day or so.
Thanks, as always, for your interest in the success
of the College in our new home.
Dear Shimer Community:
This e-mail brings exciting news regarding our College's
search for an interim President occasioned upon Bill Rice's
departure in mid-September. As you know the Board of
Trustees and representatives of Shimer Faculty and
Staff spent much of the past month interviewing and
evaluating prospective candidates. Our goal has been to
provide Shimer with the best possible leadership and
continuity of fund-raising efforts during the upcoming
Presidential search. The Board of Trustees joins with
our Faculty and Staff to thank the College community for
its characteristic good will and support for a decision
that needed to be made quickly. While our Assembly will not
meet for another week we trust that all members of the
community understand the power of their voice in College
affairs and will feel motivated to become involved in the
search for a permanent President.
John Meech of Shimer's Advancement Office will be responsible
for notifications to the press, alumni and our accrediting
bodies and will begin that task tomorrow morning. While the
following information is, therefore, not yet generally known
we wanted you of the Shimer Community to be the first to hear.
None of this is secret and you may certainly feel free to
share the news with your friends and family. Please refer
any request for official statements directly to John.
This Thursday, September 6, the Shimer community will
welcome Ronald O.Champagne as the next President of Shimer
College. Ron will serve as interim President while the Board
of Trustees and the Assembly undertake the presidential search
Ron is President Emeritus of Saint Xavier University in
Chicago where he served from 1982 to 1994. At Saint Xavier,
Ron led a ten year program of expansion that in 1992
culminated in the institution's transformation from a
college to a university. During his tenure Ron also
strengthened Saint Xavier's distinguished Board of Trustees
and implemented a three-year faculty compensation program that
yielded substantially increased faculty compensation.
Since departing Saint Xavier in 1994, Ron has held senior
development positions at two prominent Chicago institutions:
He was Senior Vice President for Development at the National
Alzheimer's Association, and Vice President for Development
at Roosevelt University. During his career at the Alzheimer's
Association, Ron's team raised $238 million, increasing yearly
receipts from $54 million to $66 million. At Roosevelt Ron
led a team of twenty-eight people who raised funds for two
campuses in Chicago and Schaumburg. Ron organized and led a
successful campaign to raise $6.5 million for the Roosevelt
University scholarship fund, personally securing major
scholarship gifts including a $2 million gift from the Pepsi
Corporation. In the 1990s Ron played a key role in negotiations between
Shimer College and Roosevelt University concerning
a possible affiliation.
Ron earned the Ph.D. from Fordham University, New York, in 1973 after
receiving his M.A. from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and his B.A.
from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
Ron has served as an Academic Dean at Salem College in Salem, West Virginia;
as a Professor of Mathematics at Saint Xavier University and Salem College;
and as a Professor of Philosophy of Science at Roosevelt University. In the
1970s Ron co-founded the Manhattanville Advanced Studies Program, a highly
innovative college-level program for 170 gifted junior and senior high
To quote Chris Nelson, President of St. John's College and Acting Chair of
the Shimer Board of Trustees, "Ron Champagne brings an extraordinary wealth
of experience to the position. He has known Shimer and its leadership for
nearly two decades. He has extensive presidential and fundraising
experience, and knows Chicago well, having made it his home for years. We
are incredibly fortunate to have a person of this caliber for our president,
while we undertake the process of searching for a permanent president. This
should be an energizing year for the college."
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