Following a 13-month search process, Wittenberg announced its fifteenth president, Michael Frandsen, on Feb. 10.
Frandsen has held many positions in both education and cooperate finances. When it comes to his work in education, he has worked as both a professor, a swim coach and an administrator.
He worked as the interim president for Albion College during the 2013-2014 year. Frandsen said that all of his experiences have prepared him for the position as Wittenberg’s president. He cites that his time at Albion gives him a head start on making the transition to Wittenberg.
Frandsen is currently the vice president of Finance and Administration for Oberlin College, and will continue his position there until July. Frandsen also plans on being on campus a few times before starting his position here.
“I was talking with a friend yesterday who is in his first year as a college president,” Frandsen said. “He said one thing to remember is that the president is the only one who sees the whole picture without the perspective and bias of one particular area or point of view.”
On the subject of Wittenberg’s finances, Frandsen is optimistic, or at least not pessimistic in his concerns. He admits to Wittenberg having its challenges, but also commented on Wittenberg’s growing resources and using them to their best potential.
“I have a strong sense that Wittenberg is resilient and ready to work together to seize opportunities and meet challenges,” Frandsen said.
Frandsen also said he is excited about many things regarding his new position at Wittenberg.
“I am excited about getting to know the people,” Frandsen said. “I am excited about helping those people and the institution grow. I am excited to help make the student experience the best it can be. I am excited to cheer on the Tigers and to see students perform on stages and in concert halls.”
He also mentioned his wife, Sharon’s, excitement, as well as his two daughters being introduced to the campus, Janie, a Ph.D. student at Ohio State University and Kate, a senior at Albion. He is also bringing his two dogs, Libbie and Baxter, to campus.
Frandsen admits to having not known much about Wittenberg prior to his application here, outside of a friend and a mentor who are among Wittenberg’s alumni. He became interested in the position after people who knew both him and the school recommended looking into it, thinking that it would be a good fit.
“As I learned more about the school and the opportunity to serve as president, I felt more and more that they were right. I guess they were,” Frandsen said.
Dick Helton, Wittenberg’s current interim president, commented on Frandsen:
“He seemed to have a thorough understanding of the traditions and values already in place,” Helton said.