May 22, 2013

William Penn University president announces resignation

Press release

OSKALOOSA — Dr. Ann M. Fields announced Monday, May 20, 2013 that she will resign as President of William Penn University effective June 30, 2013, to return to teaching. In her message to the Board of Trustees, President Fields explained that as she shook hands with students at graduation (May 2013), she realized how much she missed knowing “their names, their faces . . . their stories. That is what brings me joy.”

During her seven year tenure as Provost and President of William Penn University, the Oskaloosa campus has grown in part due to programs implemented by Dr. Fields, including marching band and bowling. During that same period the College for Working Adults also expanded its offerings, including new opportunities for military families and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Board and Cabinet members express appreciation for Dr. Fields’ many years of dedication and leadership, and are pleased she is willing again to teach and mentor our students.

At the Spring Board Meeting (May 20, 2013), Trustees established plans to adapt the university to the rapidly changing environment of higher education. A 90-120 day study of university operations led by Trustee Greg Harris will begin this week. During this process, Harris and other ad-hoc committee members will conduct a series of review and planning meetings with senior administrative staff and other members of the campus community. One of the responsibilities of the committee will be to facilitate discussions among Cabinet and Board members regarding the process for selecting the new President and Leadership for the next 140 years of William Penn.

In the interim, leadership will be a joint venture between the Cabinet, their selected liaison to the Review/Planning Committee, the Executive Committee & the Chair of the Board of Trustees. During this process, final authority resides with the Chair and the Executive Committee.  

William Penn University is committed to honor its Quaker heritage and tradition of providing educational opportunities to a wide range of students, as it has done for 140 years, while adapting to meet 21st Century challenges.