Michael Fischer, vice president for faculty and student affairs, has been named interim president by Trinity University’s Board of Trustees, effective Jan. 2, 2015. Dennis Ahlburg will step down following his contract’s end in January to begin a sabbatical. Fischer has served as vice president since 2000 and is in charge of Trinity’s academic and student affairs.
“I will serve until the new president is selected, until the new president comes to campus,” Fischer said.
Ahlburg has served as president since January of 2010, completing his five-year contract, during which he has helped the university through the construction of a variety of projects and the beginnings of a new strategic plan and marketing initiative.
Fischer, who also serves as a professor in a first-year seminar and HUMA class, noted his gratitude for the position and in moving the university through various programs.
“It is a privilege to be called on to provide leadership,” Fischer said in a statement. “I am excited about moving Trinity forward on key initiatives within the university’s strategic plan and implementing our innovative new curriculum.”
The new curriculum is set for implementation come 2015, alongside a continued marketing presence in the wake of the established strategic plan.
“The curriculum and strategic plans really provide a map for the future and that’s where we’re header. My goal is to help us get there,” Fischer said.
Fischer also stated his goals in helping transition Trinity into the new presidency.
“My goals are to continue to move the university forward to ensure a smooth transition to the new president,” Fischer said.
The presidential search is being conducted by a search committee, comprised of various faculty and staff members alongside student representative Evan Lewis. Upon selection, the committee will present the candidates to the Board of Trustees who will then offer the final decision on the new president for the academic year of 2015-16.
Lewis stated that although he hasn’t had the opportunity to work with Fischer often, he has been impressed with his commitment to the university and leadership.
“I have been impressed by his willingness to listen to students,” Lewis said. “I think he will do a fantastic job in the next few months.”
Following the appointment of the president next academic year, Fischer will return to his position as vice president.
“My role will be to help the new president become acclimated to a new campus and adjust to the university,” Fischer said.
To many students, including those who know Fischer and those who do not, the change and transition is one that, while challenging is exciting. Along with these sentiments, many students are grateful for the experience that Fischer will be able to bring during this transition period.
“It’s good that we have someone who is familiar with our school and community who can help us operate effectively as we search for a new president,” said junior neuroscience major Cole Evans.
Fischer stated his excitement towards the future of Trinity and his passion to continue working with the university in the coming years.
“I love Trinity, I am committed to it,” Fischer said. “This is where my son went to school, I’ve been a professor here and I am excited to be serving in this new role.”