Karen Petersen Will Be the Thirteenth President and Second Woman to Lead Hendrix College in Arkansas

The board of trustees of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, has chosen Karen K. Petersen as the educational institution’s thirteenth president. When she takes office in June, she will be the second woman to lead the liberal arts college.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as president of Hendrix College and look forward to serving alongside the caring and talented faculty, staff, and board members as we continue Hendrix’s commitment to the life-changing power of a liberal arts education,” Dr. Petersen said. “We are privileged to educate the young people upon whose shoulders the responsibility for our future rests, and I am dedicated to strengthening and preserving the residential liberal arts experience because it is the best preparation for life in a free society.”

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. The college enrolls just over 1,100 undergraduate students and just a few graduate students, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. Women make up 51 percent of the student body.

Dr. Petersen currently serves as a professor of political science and dean of the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Prior to joining the University of Tulsa, Dr. Petersen served for nearly 16 years at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. In addition to being a faculty member, she served in three progressively responsible leadership roles culminating with her tenure as dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Dr. Petersen earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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