With regret, Magdalen College announces the resignation of current president, Dr. George Harne, effective July 31, 2020.
The Board of Trustees wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the leadership and dedication of Dr. Harne. During his tenure at Magdalen, he not only secured accreditation for the college, but advanced its presence nationally as a vibrant Catholic institution of higher learning. Dr. Harne’s vision and drive has sustained Magdalen over the past nine years, and the Board wishes him and his family the absolute best as they begin a new chapter.
During the next few weeks, the Board of Trustees will appoint a search committee that reflects the broad constituency of the college’s community and will develop both a presidential profile and timeline for the search. All who are interested in this search are encouraged to visit this website regularly for updates about the process as well as information about how to nominate candidates for the presidency.
As the academic year 2019-20 drew to a close, Dr. Harne, the college’s fourth president, informed the chairman of the board that he would step down and begin the transition for the College’s fifth president: “In the last twelve years it has been an extraordinary blessing to teach and learn from Magdalen’s students and her faculty and serve with the college’s fine administrators and staff,” Dr. Harne stated. “I am confident that the board will select a president who will continue to build our collegiate community, strengthen our unique approach to liberal education, cultivate our Catholic culture, and advance our mission.”
In speaking of his decision to step down, Dr. Harne observed, “My primary vocation is to my wife and children, who have been more than patient with my travels over these nine years. This has been a difficult decision, but I am convinced that it is the right one at the right time.”
To lead the transition, the Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Eric Buck to serve as the interim president. Dr. Buck has served on the faculty of the college, directed and developed the “Career Pathways Program” and brings to the position experience in administration both within and beyond the academy. During the interim period, Dr. Buck will be supported in his role by Dr. Brian FitzGerald, the Academic Dean, Dr. Mary Mumbach, the Dean Emerita, other members of the College’s Instruction Committee, and the Board of Trustees.
Regarding Dr. Buck’s selection as the interim, Dr. Harne observed, “I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Buck. His love for the college—its students, faculty, mission, and vision for liberal education—and experience will guarantee a successful transition.” You can read a letter from Dr. Buck here.
Magdalen’s Board of Trustees invites all those who love Magdalen College and faithful Catholic education to join them in praying for this process and in nominating exemplary candidates who can serve as the college’s fifth president.