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Wells College Names New President to Oversee Closure


Despite closing at the end of the spring semester in May, Wells College has a brand new president.

Marie Chapman Carroll, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced Monday afternoon that Dr. Susan Henking was appointed Wells President on Sunday. Prior to the appointment, Dr. Henking served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Wells. Henking is also an Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“Dr. Henking’s appointment comes as part of our commitment to support a leader who knows the Wells College community and understands the complex issues of transition,” said Carroll. “Throughout her career, Dr. Henking has demonstrated a profound commitment to the success and well-being of students and to liberal education. At Wells College, she has been respected especially as a champion for our community”

It was announced back on April 29th that Wells would close at the end of the spring semester, citing “enormous financial challenges coupled with a shrinking pool of undergraduate students, inflationary pressures and an overall negative sentiment towards higher education” as the reasons why.

Days later, a report from CNY Central claimed that as the college was going broke, Wells President Jonathan Gibralter was accepting an average of $50,000 a year in bonuses and received more than $310,000 in bonuses between 2016 and 2011.

On June 20th, the College announced it had parted ways with Gibralter, who had served in that role since July of 2015.

“Dr. Henking previously served in senior leadership positions at various esteemed institutions,” Carroll said in a statement. “Her extensive background includes a notable tenure as President of Shimer College in Chicago, where she navigated complex changes with accreditors. She brings her insight and experience in transition processes and will partner with the Board of Trustees for such planning to work with our advisors to assure necessary compliance and to provide appropriate avenues for preserving Wells College’s legacy.”

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