Provost at Lutheran university named president of Hood College

Volpe say he'll focus on increasing enrollment

March 28, 2001|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

Hood College has chosen the provost of a Midwestern Lutheran university as its new president.

Ronald J. Volpe, vice president and provost at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, will take over at the women's college in Frederick in July.

"Hood has good students, a very strong faculty and a strong emphasis on the liberal arts," said Volpe, 55, adding that it reminds him of the all-male school he attended, Gannon University in Erie, Pa. "There are a lot of common themes there."

Hood has had an interim president, Robert Funk, since shortly after Shirley Peterson resigned last spring. Peterson's five-year tenure was marked by a growing rift with the faculty over matters of policy and her style of governance.

"The board and search committee were very open during the interview process about the current climate at Hood," Volpe said in a telephone interview from Ohio.

"I am aware there has been some friction between the faculty and the administration," he said. "I am looking forward to working with the faculty in an atmosphere of collegiality, to bring the faculty and administration together on the same page."

Some on the faculty contend that Hood should admit men to increase its undergraduate enrollment - now 861 students - but Volpe said he did not plan to make that move soon.

"I know that has been talked about, but I think Hood has a very precious and special mission, and at least initially, I want to do everything I can to work with the admissions folks and the campus community to increase the resident enrollment of women," he said.

"I think with a more aggressive approach to telling the Hood story - and it is a marvelous story - we can attract some more quality women."

Volpe has been at Capital since 1988. With 4,000 degree-seeking students and another 2,000 in other programs, it is one of the largest Lutheran schools in the country.

A member of the business faculty, Volpe was dean of the graduate school before becoming provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1995.

Volpe graduated from Gannon University in 1967 and earned a master's degree in business administration at Xavier University in 1969. He received a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980.

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