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Dr. Julie Wollman Named 10th President of Widener University

Dr. Wollman, currently president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, will take office on January 19. 

The board of trustees of Widener University is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Julie Wollman as the tenth president of Widener. Wollman, who currently serves as the president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, was selected unanimously by the board of trustees at a special meeting on October 30. Wollman will take office as president of Widener on January 19, 2016.

“Julie Wollman brings tremendous expertise to Widener University, having more than 25 years of experience in higher education with a deep commitment to providing a liberal arts and professional education of the highest caliber,” said General John Tilleli, chair of the board of trustees.

“We had an excellent pool of well-qualified candidates for the position, and Dr. Wollman impressed the search committee as a leader who will further develop and implement Widener’s strategic vision,” said Paul Beideman, chair of the presidential search committee. “She is an excellent match for Widener University at this time in its history.”

Wollman replaces Interim President Steven C. Wilhite, who stepped into that role after the August departure of James T. Harris III, who left to become president of the University of San Diego.

“Widener is known for its distinctive blend of academic excellence, civic engagement, experiential learning and applied leadership,” said Wollman. “These values are important to me, and I am very excited about the great opportunity at Widener. I look forward to serving the university and achieving great things in collaboration with the trustees, the university and local communities. I am eager to meet the students, faculty and staff on each of Widener’s four campuses.”

Wollman has served as president of Edinboro since 2012, where she introduced a campus-wide President’s Listening Initiative, an inclusive and successful process that resulted in an updated mission, values and strategic plan, focused on academic excellence, faculty and staff development, and high impact learning practices for all undergraduate students. Wollman also established Porreco College, a highly successful satellite campus, offering associate degrees targeted to meet the needs of Erie’s urban population.

Prior to becoming president of Edinboro, Wollman served as vice president for academic affairs at Wheelock College in Boston, Mass. Before that, she was vice president for academic affairs at Worcester State University, and dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College, where she also co-directed the doctoral program and held rank of full professor.

A graduate of Harvard University where she majored in English and American literature and language and minored in French, Wollman earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctor of philosophy in education from New York University.

A Philadelphia native, Wollman says she is looking forward to coming home to the Philadelphia area. “The opportunity to lead Widener, which is one of nation’s leading metropolitan universities, is particularly significant to me. I am looking forward to strengthening the manner in which Widener can serve the needs of the metropolitan area in meaningful and mutually rewarding ways.”

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive, doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be tobacco-free. Visit the university website at