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Elmhurst Names New Vice President for Academic Affairs

December 20, 2019 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst College has announced that Dean Pribbenow will join the College to serve as its vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

Selected in a nationwide search, Pribbenow currently is the vice president for academic affairs and academic dean at Edgewood College, an independent liberal arts college in Madison, Wis. He will begin his new position at Elmhurst in March of 2020.

Pribbenow said he was drawn to Elmhurst by the strong faculty, staff and leadership; the diverse student body; the deep commitment to experiential learning; and its national reputation for innovation. “The quality of Elmhurst’s innovation signals an institution that is continuously focused on enhancing the quality of the student experience and responding to existing and emerging needs and opportunities in the communities we serve,” he said.

“Like many on campus, I was impressed with Dean’s breadth of knowledge and experience,” said Elmhurst College President Troy D. VanAken. “His passion for promoting academic excellence and championing the mission of institutions like Elmhurst will be especially welcome as we prepare for our sesquicentennial anniversary in 2021.”

Pribbenow has served as vice president of academic affairs at Edgewood College for nearly eight years. Before that he was dean of the School of Integrative Studies, as well as an associate professor who has used service-learning pedagogy to develop and teach interdisciplinary courses on poverty, citizenship and the achievement gap.

“I see my vice president role as that of chief educator, so I bring that sense of teaching, learning and inquiry to all I do,” he said. He described three areas of particular professional interest for his role at Elmhurst: to support the professional development of the faculty; to foster innovation both in terms of program development and in seeking resources and funding; and to strengthen college and community partnerships through community engagement and experiential learning, in fulfillment of the civic purposes of higher education.

Pribbenow earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a master of science in counseling, with a concentration in higher education, from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; and a bachelor’s degree in English from Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa.

“Elmhurst College is a model of what happens when you place students and student learning at the center of all you do,” he said, “and I’m truly excited to become part of this tremendous learning community.”

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