Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich Announces Plan to Retire

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From The Board of Trustees of Hartwick College:

ONEONTA, NY—The Board of Trustees of Hartwick College announced today that Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich will retire from the presidency of Hartwick College during the summer of 2022. The President shared her decision in a letter to all members of the Board of Trustees and in a communication to the full College community. Dr. Drugovich’s departure date will be determined in collaboration with the Board.

“It has been my honor to lead Hartwick over these past 13 years, and to do so in partnership with the College’s dedicated trustees and our entire community,” said President Drugovich. “Working together with our talented faculty and staff, steadfast alumni, and generous supporters, we have enhanced the College’s ability to prepare our students for meaningful and successful lives after graduation, strengthened Hartwick’s national reputation, and increased the College’s role in regional economic development. Together we have brought Hartwick to a place of distinction and strength as an important part of the higher education ecosystem. I feel confident that the College is poised for even greater success in the years to come.”

During her tenure as the College’s 10th president, Dr. Drugovich guided Hartwick through a period of transformational change.

“Margaret has led Hartwick with an unwavering commitment to student success, future-focused programming, creative partnerships, and the long-term financial strength of the college,” said Board Chair David H. Long ’83, H’14. “She has positioned the College well for its future, and we continue to be grateful for her insightful, innovative, and inspiring leadership.”

Dr. Drugovich has overseen the development of several instrumental initiatives during her tenure, among them: FlightPath, an innovative approach to education and professional preparation designed to provide students with the skills necessary to succeed in a global economy post-graduation; an accelerated Three Year Degree program; the development of six undergraduate majors, a graduate-level program in Translational Biomedical Research Management, and soon, its Master of Science in Nursing Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Nursing Education; and significant investments in campus infrastructure. At the same time, Dr. Drugovich led the development of Hartwick’s Center for Craft Food

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& Beverage on the College’s campus in 2014 and Hartwick’s new Grain Innovation Center which will be located in downtown Oneonta. By doing so, she provided a unique educational experience for Hartwick students while simultaneously supporting the local economy. A more detailed description of these and many other campus- and community-wide collaborations she led is described below.

The College’s Board of Trustees has initiated a formal search to choose Hartwick’s 11th president. The search committee will be led by Trustee Vice Chair Kathleen Fallon ’88 and include representatives from the campus community. Their goal is to identify a new leader by the start of the 2022-2023 academic year as the College celebrates the 225th anniversary of its founding.

Supporting a Quality Student Experience

Dr. Drugovich oversaw the development of FlightPath – Hartwick’s innovative approach to education and professional preparation. At each stage of the process she set direction with the Board’s support and empowered faculty, administration, and students to work together to create an approach that is responsive to student educational needs and an authentic reflection of the campus’ strengths and values.

Throughout her tenure Dr. Drugovich has emphasized the importance of supporting a quality student experience. The Campaign for Hartwick Students, successfully concluded in 2016, prioritized support for student scholarships, international January Term experiences, athletics and fitness facilities, student gathering spaces, the Pine Lake Environmental Campus, the Hartwick Fund, as well as the College’s endowment. To date, the College has already received total commitments of more than $5.4M in support for its new FlightPath Campaign that launched on July 1st.

The President has assured that the Hartwick campus offers students up-to-date amenities that complement a world-class education. With the support of current and former trustees, Dr. Drugovich commissioned a master facilities planning process that was shaped by members of the campus community, and positioned Hartwick to secure financing that funded timely and significant improvements to its beautiful campus. These enhancements include Founders’ Way with its pedestrian-friendly campus access, a modern apartment complex for upper-class students, the refurbishment of other residence halls, critical infrastructure, a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab, and upgrades to academic buildings.

Fostering strategic innovation has been at the forefront of Dr. Drugovich’s effort at Hartwick. Working with faculty she catalyzed the launch of Hartwick’s Three Year Degree program that garnered national attention when introduced in 2009. Six recently developed undergraduate majors include timely and popular offerings in Public Health, Criminal Justice, and Environment, Sustainability & Society.

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Hartwick now offers a graduate-level program with the innovative master’s in Translational Biomedical Research Management. Building upon eight decades of excellence in nursing education, the College will soon offer its Master of Science in Nursing Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Nursing Education, both of which will expand Hartwick’s influence in this vital discipline.

Community Engagement and Initiative to Strengthen the Local Economy

Looking beyond traditional educational offerings, the College has demonstrated a persistent commitment to engage with the Oneonta community and find innovative ways to expand experience-enhanced education while strengthening the local economy through strategic leveraging of the College’s significant intellectual resources. President Drugovich spearheaded the development of Hartwick’s Center for Craft Food & Beverage on the College’s campus in 2014 and Hartwick’s new Grain Innovation Center to be located in downtown Oneonta. She assured Hartwick student participation in the Stanford University Innovation Fellows program and the development of the Hartwick College Griffiths Center for Collaboration, which includes a Makerspace, E(ntrepreneurship)-Hub, and Fab(rication) Lab. Hartwick College has benefited from the relationships she has nurtured with state and federal legislators and the local community government, education, civic, and business leaders who comprise her President’s Advisory Council.

Dr. Drugovich has often noted that Hartwick students inspire her. During her time at the College she has become known for holding open student office hours, personally responding to student emails and calls, joining them for lunch, attending their games and performances, and with her partner Elizabeth Steele, hosting students for dinner in her home.

Inclusive Decision-making

Over the past 13 years, Dr. Drugovich has built an inclusive decision-making relationship with the College’s trustees and the campus community. From the development of the Organizing Principle and Strategic Framework (OPSF) in 2008 to the collaborative creation of the Hartwick225 action plan and FlightPath to the commissioning of the COVID-responsive Strategic Response Team, Dr. Drugovich has repeatedly recognized the strength and resilience of the members of the Hartwick community and credits them with enabling the College to move forward and build strength even when faced with significant challenges. She often credits the College’s trustees, the majority of whom are Hartwick graduates, with caring deeply about the College and fully engaging in the challenging work of navigating the competitive higher education landscape, always with an eye on sustainability and success.

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Throughout her tenure, Dr. Drugovich’s service to the greater academic community has helped to raise the College’s profile by bringing Hartwick to the forefront of national discussions. Notably, she has served on the Board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and as the chair of its Committee on Accountability; as a member of the U.S. Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education; on the NCAA Division III President’s Council and its Strategic Planning and Finance Committee; and on the Board of the New York Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), as its Treasurer, and as Chair of CICU’s Finance and Administrative Committee. Dr. Drugovich also served on the Council of Independent Colleges Steering Committee Project on the Future of Independent Colleges and is immediate past chair of the American Council on Education Women’s Network Executive Council.

President Drugovich earned a Doctor of Management degree from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where she was a Fellow of the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. She received her Master’s degree from Brown University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Albertus Magnus College. Before assuming her Hartwick Presidency, Dr. Drugovich served in senior leadership roles at Ohio Wesleyan University and Bryant University, and as a researcher at the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research.

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