Three Women Who Serve as College or University Presidents Have Announced Their Retirements

Janet Eisner, president of Emmanuel College in Boston since 1979, has announced that she will retire next year. She is the nation’s longest-serving woman college president currently in office. In 2000, she led the college’s successful transition from an all-women’s college to a coeducational college. Over the past 15 years alone, applications to Emmanuel have increased significantly and enrollment has tripled. Before her appointment as president, she served at Emmanuel as a faculty member and as director of admissions. Currently, President Eisner serves on the board of trustees at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. Dr. Eisner earned a bachelor’s degree at Emmanuel College. She holds a master’s degree from Boston College and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Christine Pharr, president of Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, has announced that she plans to retire on June 30, 2022, at the end of the current academic year. Dr. Pharr began her tenure as the 12th president of the university in July 2017. At the time of her appointment, Dr. Pharr was serving as vice president for alumnae and donor relations at the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. Previously, she served as vice president of academic affairs at the College of St. Mary. Earlier in her career, Dr. Pharr was academic dean and a professor of chemistry at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. A native of South Dakota, Dr. Pharr is a graduate of Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota, where she majored in biology and chemistry. She holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Idaho.

Faith C. Hensrud announced that she is retiring as president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, Minnesota, effective June 30, 2022. Dr. Hensrud was announced as the president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College on April 20, 2016, assuming the role on July 1 of that year. Earlier, she served in a variety of roles at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for nearly 20 years. She joined the faculty in 1995 as a lecturer in its department of business and economics and later would serve as leader of the school’s distance education and continuing education programs. She held the titles of associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and outreach; interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of faculties; and finally as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Dr. Hensrud holds a bachelor’s degree in human adaptability from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a master’s degree in management from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, and a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

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