June 30, 2017
Incoming Susquehanna University President Jonathan D. Green will step into his new role tomorrow, Saturday, July 1. He will serve as Susquehanna’s 15th president, succeeding long-time President L. Jay Lemons.
A native of western New York, Green was the unanimous choice of the 15-member Presidential Search Committee, which conducted a six-month, national search.
Search Committee Chair Signe Gates said Green consistently distinguished himself among a pool of highly qualified candidates.
“Jonathan demonstrated an in-depth knowledge, appreciation and genuine love of student-centered, liberal arts education, as delivered by schools like Susquehanna. Every member of the search committee was impressed by the research he had done and his thoughtful identification of opportunities for us,” she said.
During the past 14 years, Green was the chief academic officer at institutions that have distinguished themselves for their integration of liberal and experiential education. He comes to Susquehanna from Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) in Bloomington, Ill., where he had served as provost and dean of the faculty since 2011. Prior to that, he spent eight years as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Va.
Colleagues describe Green as an engaging collaborator, who is energetic, personable and student-focused. Those who know him best say he is an extremely knowledgeable academic, a good listener and a conceptual thinker, who is also able to see “all the moving parts.” The accomplishments of which he is proudest are those that are the result of collaboration and collective problem-solving, Green said.
Active in fundraising at both IWU and Sweet Briar, he also oversaw the grants office at both institutions, successfully working with faculty and staff to transform operations. Changes implemented under his leadership resulted in a significant increase in grant awards. Partnering with others, he worked to address challenges in enrollment and financial aid at IWU and Sweet Briar as well.
At IWU, Green co-chaired the University Council on Diversity, which focused on institution-wide initiatives aimed at creating an inclusive college campus. Those initiatives helped the university recruit the most diverse classes in its history. He also helped to expand efforts of the university’s Action Research Center, which pairs student and faculty expertise with the needs of nonprofits in the broader Bloomington community. Moreover, he assisted in expanding the reach of IWU’s new Human Rights and Social Justice Center, as well as participating in the nation’s most productive collegiate chapter of Habitat for Humanity, co-sponsored with Illinois State University.
A scholar, teacher, musician, composer and conductor, Green has served on a number of nonprofit boards, experience that has helped him understand how to provide them with the information they need to fulfill their responsibilities with confidence.
Green said many things about Susquehanna impress him—its long and abiding commitment to the liberal arts and commitment to experiential learning, its student focus and history as an NCAA Division III school, the quality of its board, its membership in the Annapolis Group, which places the university among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, and the eloquence with which the search committee articulated Susquehanna’s values.
“Susquehanna’s dedication to student success in and out of the classroom, its excellent faculty and leadership team, as well as its thoughtful central curriculum and cogent strategic planning are consonant with my sensibilities,” Green said.
Green earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1985 and a Master of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1987. He participated in a summer seminar at Oxford University’s Trinity College in 1987, and went on to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1992.
He and his wife, Ms. Lynn Buck, said they are delighted to serve as Susquehanna’s president and first lady and are looking forward to meeting members of the university community, as well as those from the broader community.