July 15, 2019
Wilson College Appoints Interim President

Wilson College today announced the appointment of A. Richard Kneedler as interim president. Kneedler was president of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., from 1988 to 2002 and served as interim president of Rockford (Ill.) College (now Rockford University) in 2006-07. He has also worked as an educational consultant.

Kneedler was named by Wilson’s Board of Trustees to temporarily oversee operations while the College conducts a comprehensive search for a permanent replacement for Barbara K. Mistick, who is leaving to take a new position as president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Mistick joined Wilson as its 19th president in July 2011.

“The Board of Trustees is pleased to welcome Dr. Kneedler to campus. His familiarity with Wilson, as well as his experience leading Franklin & Marshall, make him an ideal candidate for this interim role,” said Dr. Barbara L. Tenney, chair of the Wilson College Board of Trustees and a member of the Class of 1967. “The Trustees have every confidence Dr. Kneedler will do an excellent job keeping the College on course and strategically focused.” 

The College worked with the Registry for College and University Presidents to bring three candidates for the interim presidency to campus in late June for interviews. An ad hoc committee of the Board of Trustees recommended Kneedler for the position, which he will assume full time on Aug. 1. Representatives from faculty, staff and the senior administrative team also participated in the interview process.

Kneedler says he has followed Wilson’s recent progress under Mistick─whose leadership has doubled the College’s enrollment, added programs, expanded coeducation, improved facilities and lowered tuition. His plan is to help the College continue its impressive forward momentum, especially now, during the celebration of its 150th anniversary.

“Wilson College is bucking the trend in higher education with increased enrollment when many of its peer institutions are seeing their numbers shrink,” said Kneedler. “This success is due to the strong leadership of the Trustees, President Mistick and the tremendous support of faculty and staff. I am excited to join the College, even for a short while, and to be a part of championing Wilson toward its next 150 years.”

Kneedler, who was given the honor of president emeritus status by F&M on his departure from the liberal arts college in 2002, began his career there in 1968, serving on the faculty of F&M’s French Department before adding assistant to the college dean to his responsibilities. He also held the titles of vice president for administration and vice president for development, among others, before being appointed president of the institution in 1988.

As president, Kneedler is credited with positioning F&M as a national college by implementing successful strategies for academics, fundraising, campus development, finances and management. During his tenure, F&M completed two fundraising campaigns that raised $200 million as the school’s endowment tripled to more than $300 million.

After F&M, Kneedler served as Rockford’s interim president from May 2006 to November 2007, reversing budget deficits, reducing debt, restoring credit and increasing the visibility of the institution. Additionally, he has performed consulting services for the Council of Independent Colleges and several private consulting firms in higher education, most recently with Ann Duffield & Colleagues, a Philadelphia consulting company where he was the operating officer and a consultant on strategic planning, finance and operations from 2011 to 2016.

Kneedler has a doctorate and a master’s degree, both in French language and literature from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he holds a certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration’s Institute for Educational Management. His bachelor’s degree is from F&M.

Kneedler and his wife Suzette (Gallagher)─a 1967 Wilson graduate─live in Naples, Fla., and also have an apartment in Lancaster.

While Kneedler serves as interim president, Wilson is proceeding with a search for the 20th president of the College. The College has formed a presidential search committee including seven Trustees, with additional representation from faculty, staff and the student body. The committee is working with Academic Search Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm hired to conduct a national search for the next president of Wilson College.

There is no deadline in the search for Mistick’s replacement, but officials hope the new president will be appointed sometime before the end of the 2019-20 academic year.


April 1, 2019
Dr. Barbara K. Mistick to Step Down as Wilson College President

Wilson College President Dr. Barbara K. Mistick will step down from her post after the end of the 2018-19 academic year, as announced in a letter to the college community today.

Dr. Mistick became Wilson’s 19th president in 2011. She is the architect of the Wilson Today plan, which refocused the College’s growth strategy. Under her vision and leadership, the College has experienced record student enrollment by reducing tuition and creating a first-of-its-kind student loan buyback program, added academic programs in nursing and other areas of demand, addressed infrastructure and future facilities needs, improved the institution’s marketing and brought coeducation to all areas of the College.


Dr. Barbara K. Mistick

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I’d like to thank Dr. Mistick for her deep commitment to our students and to the entire Wilson community. It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside her to bring about positive change to further the College. Her excitement and passion for higher education, and the importance of independent colleges like ours, is evident. With tremendous energy and dedication, she has played an integral role in helping Wilson evolve to meet the ever increasing expectations of today’s student,” said Dr. Barbara L. Tenney, ’67, chair, Wilson College Board of Trustees. “As we begin to celebrate the College’s Sesquicentennial, I am confident Wilson is well positioned for continued success and the next 150 years.”

Dr. Mistick will join the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) in September as president. With more than 1,000 colleges, universities and associations as members, NAICU is the largest organization representing independent, nonprofit colleges and universities on federal issues. The organization is based in Washington, D.C., and advocates on behalf of its member institutions; provides analysis, insight and guidance on legislation, regulations and policy developments; and devises collective strategies among key stakeholders. As president, Dr. Mistick will serve as ex officio member of the board, officer of the board and CEO of the association. Dr. Mistick will be the fourth president in NAICU’s 42-year history.

“I am very proud of my time at Wilson College and the work we have accomplished together. With the help of all our stakeholders, alumni, students, faculty, staff, former and current trustees and the Chambersburg community, we have repositioned the College and how it presents itself to the community. From reimagining and rededicating the John Stewart Memorial Library, successful public/private partnerships with the Borough of Chambersburg to improve pedestrian safety and rehabilitate Henninger Field, to a new Veterinary Education Center, slated to open the fall of 2019, my eight years have been focused on ways to enhance the student experience,” said Mistick.

The Wilson College Board of Trustees has appointed a committee to conduct a national search for the next president. As is customary, the greater college community─including faculty, staff, students and alumni─will be a part of that process.

Prior to her appointment at Wilson, Dr. Mistick was president of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where she provided strategic leadership and operational oversight of a library system that serves approximately 1.2 million people and includes 19 neighborhood library locations.

Over the course of her 30-year career, Dr. Mistick has been an entrepreneur, educator and leader at institutions such as the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the National Education Center for Women in Business at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, as well as at various businesses she managed and/or founded. Her book, Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace, was designated as an Amazon Editor’s Pick and ranked #12 on the 800-CEO-READ’s Best Seller list.