Guilford College President To Step Down
Guilford College President Jane Fernandes is stepping down from her post. During her relatively short tenure, her contributions left a lasting impact. She arrived just six years ago with a challenging mandate: renovate aging residence halls, increase enrollment, revitalize the curriculum, all while maintaining the centuries-old Quaker traditions that make Guilford College unique.
Under her leadership, the school invested millions in campus-wide facility enhancements, and the school saw new student enrollment increase by eight percent. Board Chair Ed Winslow III says Fernandes’ greatest legacy may be Guilford Edge, an innovative new experiential learning approach and mentorship program.
“And [they] talk with them about their values and their lives and then guide them; help them connect with aspects of Guilford’s curriculum and programs that turn them on,” says Winslow. “And when you get students connected with their passions in a learning environment, they can take off.”
Guilford College, like many schools in the country, is entering a very challenging period as COVID-19 continues to disrupt long-range planning efforts. Winslow says today’s environment of uncertainty will dictate the type of candidates soon to be considered by a new search committee.
“When we are looking for the next leader, we need somebody who is a strong as Jane Fernandes, who is agile, and who is practical,” says Winslow. “But, Jane brought us a vision, so we’ve got to have somebody who can implement that vision that I believe in so much.”
In a letter to friends and colleagues, Fernandes announced her intention to step down as president and move to a faculty position at Guilford College effective July 1, 2021.