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King steps down as president of SMWC

Note: The following release came courtesy from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Office of Marketing and Communications.

After 21 years at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC), the last 13 of those as president, Dottie L. King, Ph.D., has announced that she will step down as president to pursue a new journey as the president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) on August 1.

King, the 16th president of the College and the fourth longest serving, will continue to serve the institution as chancellor, which is an unpaid honorary advisory position at the invitation of the Board of Trustees. Her last day as president will be July 1.

King commented, “This is a bittersweet moment for me because I love this institution and the incredible opportunities SMWC provides students. I have decided to utilize all the lessons I have learned throughout my career to benefit many higher education institutions, including The Woods.”

She began at The Woods in 2002 as an assistant professor of mathematics. Then she became an associate professor of mathematics, chair of the sciences and mathematics department, assistant dean for undergraduate and international programs, vice president for academic affairs and interim president. She was awarded the College’s highest teaching honors, the Sister Mary Joseph Pomeroy Award for Faculty Excellence for teaching and another for service.

During King’s tenure as president, SMWC has experienced record enrollments, an increase in academic programs, an increase in scholarship athletic teams, improvements in the historic buildings on campus and the construction of two new buildings, the first since 1969. She led the College through the transition to coeducational in 2015, allowing the first men undergraduate campus students to enroll.

Michael McMahon, chair of the Board of Trustees, expressed sincere gratitude for King’s leadership. “Working with President King during my time on the board has been a great pleasure. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express our appreciation for her tireless work and dedication. Under her leadership, The Woods has overcome great challenges while strategically moving the institution forward to grow enrollment, build new buildings, increase academic and athletic programming and expand the reach of this great institution in a way that I am certain would make our foundress Saint Mother Theodore Guerin proud.”

He added, “We are committed to a smooth transition as we search for the College’s next president. In the meantime, the senior leadership team will continue to advance SMWC with the full support of the Board of Trustees.”

Sister Carol Nolan (right) with Dottie King.

Alice Sherfick Shelton ’87, incoming chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “I offer warm appreciation to Dottie for her years in service to the mission of the College. Her courageous leadership is evidenced by growing enrollment, new academic opportunities, expanded athletic programs and strong alumni engagement. The accomplishments Dottie championed in her tenure as president make her the perfect candidate to move into a leadership role in Indiana’s private higher education landscape. I am confident that Dottie will carry her love of The Woods into her new role.”

King added, “As I contemplated this decision, Ecclesiastes 3:1 repeatedly came to mind. “For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski ’74, general superior of the Sisters of Providence said, “Perhaps the greatest affirmation we Sisters of Providence can offer Dr. Dottie King is to say that she has been a true daughter of our common foundress Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. As the religious sponsors of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, we entrust our legacy, mission, values and charism to the keeping of the president of the college. Dottie has certainly embraced that responsibility, and in all that she has accomplished — and those accomplishments have been significant — she has enhanced that legacy, put forward the values of love, mercy and justice and operated out of a deep trust in the charism of Providence. We are very proud of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College at this moment in its history, and we are grateful to Dr. King for her dedication to its mission and for how she led this institution into the future by responding to the needs of students of this time.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Brennan Randolph, MBA, interim president. Randolph has served for the past eight years as vice president of enrollment management and institutional technology. As the previous president of Harrison College in Terre Haute before coming to SMWC, Randolph managed all aspects of the college and contributed to campus operation, enrollment flow, retention efforts, and program growth, among other areas of success.

About President Dottie L. King, Ph.D.

King serves on the executive board of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). She is the former board chair of the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI). King is a member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Indiana Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), Wabash Valley Education Alliance, Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC), and Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as the chair of the 21st Century Talent Region for West Central Indiana.

An agent for change, King has led the College through a series of strategic decisions strengthening the institution and creating new pathways for growth, among which are the launch of a nursing program, the construction and opening of the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center and the first new residence hall in 100 years, Les Bois Hall, a mission shift to become fully coeducational and a vision for the Aspire Higher Strategic Plan. SMWC has consistently ranked nationally among the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report during King’s time as president.

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

Media contact

For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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