William H. Steinbrink
“It was crucial to the board of directors that the university sustain its momentum established by President Tipson in three areas: its strategic planning process, its recruitment for students and important members of the administrative team, and preparation for future fund-raising initiatives,” said Ingrid Stafford, chair of the Wittenberg board.
“While the university begins its search for a new president, Bill Steinbrink brings a knowledgeable, dedicated servant of Wittenberg to assist the strong, committed existing leadership with the senior officers, staff, faculty and students,” Stafford continued.
A member of the board since 1996, Steinbrink has served as vice chair since 2001. He also currently serves on the board’s finance committee. In 1967, Steinbrink earned his L.L.B. degree from Duke University Law School before joining the international law firm Jones Day in its Cleveland headquarters. Following 27 years of service with the law firm, where he assisted and advised businesses in connection with fundamental transactions, financing and governance, Steinbrink left the firm to head Laurel Industries Inc. as its president and chief executive officer.
After the sale of that company, Steinbrink then became president and chief executive officer of CSM Industries Inc. before rejoining Jones Day to lead an initiative to implement formal knowledge management practices at the firm. For years, Steinbrink was also involved with the evolution of technology at Jones Day and served as the administrative partner for several years. He will take a terminal leave of absence from the firm to serve as Wittenberg’s interim president.
“I am absolutely excited to be back at Wittenberg to serve in this capacity,” Steinbrink said. “We knew as a board that we couldn’t allow a year of inactivity during the presidential search, and we have so much to do. Once the new president is selected, he or she is going to have to run to catch up with us.”
“I will also have the support of our very able senior administrators, including Provost Ken Bladh, Vice President for Advancement Charles Dominick, Vice President for Business and Finance Darrell Kitchen and Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President Maureen Massaro,” Steinbrink continued.
“Since my experience is mostly outside academe, I will rely especially on Provost Bladh for guidance in the curricular and program aspects of the strategic plan and to address the professional and academic concerns of the faculty.”
Active in his community, Steinbrink serves on the boards of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. He is also a life member of the board of visitors at Duke University Law School, and the director of the J.M. Smucker Company and Engineered Materials Solutions Inc.
Steinbrink and his wife, Betsy, also a 1964 alumna of Wittenberg, have two adult children, Scott and Laura.
“We are very grateful that Bill has the time and talent to give to Wittenberg at this important juncture,” said Stafford, who reiterated her thanks to outgoing President Tipson.
“Baird Tipson has made significant contributions to the improvement and distinction of Wittenberg University,” Stafford said, “and we wish him every success at Washington College and appreciate his dedicated service to us during the last nine years.”
Tipson will preside over Wittenberg’s 159th Commencement exercises May 15 and will continue to serve as president until June 30. Witt/Kieffer, a national executive search firm specializing in the education and not-for-profit sectors, will conduct the search for Wittenberg’s 13th president.
“We expect that we can attract a leader whose vision, education and experience can propel this nationally ranked institution even higher on the liberal arts landscape,” Stafford said. “We have begun an inclusive process to help us identify new leadership for Wittenberg and will strive to complete our search in a timely fashion.”
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