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Skidmore College

Glotzbach to step down in 2020

February 25, 2019

Philip A. Glotzbach, president of Skidmore College since 2003, a philosopher and spokesperson on issues of higher education, will step down as Skidmore’s seventh president at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Glotzbach formally confirmed his decision with the Board of Trustees on Friday during the board’s regular February meeting.

“President Glotzbach’s exemplary leadership over the last 15 years has strengthened Skidmore in every aspect, from the introduction of new academic programs and the First-Year Experience to enhancing the College’s commitment to financial aid and the construction of several impressive new facilities that have increased the vitality of the College’s living and learning environment,” said W. Scott McGraw, chair of Skidmore’s Board of Trustees.

“Phil and Marie Glotzbach have headed two major comprehensive campaigns for Skidmore, the latest of which includes significant support for the Center for Integrated Sciences, the single largest and most ambitious infrastructure project in Skidmore’s history, whose construction began last spring,” McGraw said. “We are very grateful to Phil and Marie for their remarkable service that will forever be part of Skidmore’s history.”

In a message to the Skidmore community, alumni and friends, Glotzbach said “none of what Marie and I have accomplished would have been possible without your active support, advice and collaboration. You have made it possible for us to provide leadership internally and represent the College to the larger world.

“More than ever in its history, Skidmore is stronger, more unified and more successful in fulfilling our primary mission. The world has long recognized Skidmore’s value, and that recognition has been heightened in recent times because of what we have accomplished together,” Glotzbach said. He added that “the College’s senior leadership team will provide strong leadership well into the future.”

Glotzbach said that he and Marie Glotzbach will remain fully engaged throughout the next academic year and bring the ongoing Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore to a successful conclusion.

Glotzbach became Skidmore's seventh president in 2003 after serving as dean and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Redlands, in Redlands, California. Since then, Skidmore implemented an ambitious strategic plan (2005-2015) that emphasized student academic engagement, intercultural literacy and responsible citizenship; increased the financial aid budget by nearly 150 percent; and noticeably increased the diversity of Skidmore’s students and faculty. In 2015, the College developed a new strategic plan, Creating Pathways to Excellence – the Plan for Skidmore 2015-2025.

Under Glotzbach’s leadership, Skidmore completed major building projects, including the Northwoods Village student apartments, the renovated Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, the 55,000 square foot Arthur Zankel Music Center, and Sussman Village, which replaced the Scribner Village apartments. Construction of the first phase of the $127 million Center for Integrated Sciences began last spring, and the Board of Trustees on Friday approved a plan to combine the three phases and accelerate the project.

President Glotzbach and Marie inspect CIS construction
Phil and Marie Glotzbach tour the Center for Integrated Sciences construction site. 

During Glotzbach's tenure as president, Skidmore has invested more than $150 million in campus infrastructure; developed the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery into a national model for fostering interdisciplinary learning; begun an initiative to enhance science education and increase scientific literacy across the student body; and more than doubled the College’s endowment to about $390 million from $150 million.

In 2007, Moody’s, the credit rating agency, upgraded Skidmore’s rating from A2 to A1. In 2018, Skidmore received a favorable rating of A1 with a stable outlook, a significantly distinctive designation at a time when Moody’s also noted that the outlook for the overall higher education industry was negative. According to Moody’s, Skidmore’s rating is due, in part, to “strong student demand as a very selective small liberal arts college.”

Over the last decade, Skidmore has maintained financial stability and achieved balanced budgets — even through the 2008 Financial Crisis — while upholding the integrity of the educational experience for students and its commitment to academic excellence.

In May 2010, Skidmore completed a $200 million comprehensive campaign, Creative Thought – Bold Promise, which raised a total of $216.5 million, and is now close to the end of its current comprehensive campaign, Creating Our Future.

Glotzbach, a native of Dayton, Ohio, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from Yale University. Prior to joining the University of Redlands, he taught for 15 years in the Philosophy Department at Denison University.

Marie Glotzbach has been a teacher, director and program administrator in theater and vocal music for 40 years, at both the secondary and college levels. She earned her master’s degree at the University of Redlands, where she taught Shakespeare and acting courses and also directed for the theater department. She has held a variety of leadership positions in both state and national theater education organizations. In addition to teaching, her responsibilities at Skidmore have included community relations and fund raising. She is a passionate advocate for the arts and their contribution to the education and life of every student.

President Glotzbach with Marie Glotzbach

Glotzbach said the Board of Trustees was aware of his intention and has been actively preparing to conduct the upcoming presidential search. He added that he also alerted appropriate governance committee chairs, so they could begin preparing to invite campus participation in the search process.

McGraw said a national search for Skidmore’s eighth president will begin soon.

“We will provide more information about the search in the days ahead,” McGraw said. “We will also provide opportunities for the entire community to receive updates and provide feedback throughout the process. We are confident that Skidmore’s financial stability and impressive institutional profile will attract excellent candidates.”

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