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Dickinson College names new president

Margee Ensign, veteran educator in U.S. and abroad, to assume role July 1

Margee Ensign - (Photo / Submitted)

Dickinson College has chosen as its next president a veteran educator who has served in leadership positions in both U.S. and international institutions.

Margee Ensign most recently served as president of the American University of Nigeria in Yola, Nigeria, and has held leadership roles at Columbia and Tulane universities and the University of the Pacific.

She will become Dickinson College’s 29th president on July 1.

Provost and Dean of the College Neil Weissman has served as interim president since July 2016. Weissman replaced Nancy Roseman, who resigned in early 2016 as Dickinson president after three years at the helm.

Ensign’s selection was announced Monday by college board chair Jennifer Reynolds, and follows a 10-month international search.

Ensign “is a visionary leader with extensive experience as a higher education pioneer and a scholar,” Reynolds said in an announcement from the Carlisle college.

Dickinson officials have been “impressed with her love of students, passion for the liberal arts and perspectives and sustainable values,” Reynolds said, adding that Ensign “embodies Dickinson’s mission to educate citizen-leaders.”

In her tenure at the university in Nigeria, Ensign raised $160 million, increased scholarship funding and guided the establishment of new programs, including law and engineering. She also oversaw the construction of five major buildings even as the university faced enormous security challenges from the Boko Haram uprising.

Her work was featured in a Smithsonian Magazine story, “Escape From Boko Haram,” which lauded Ensign as a “fearless American educator.”

Under Ensign, the institution also established a school for women who had escaped their Boko Haram captors.

After Ensign accepted the position at Dickinson, she stepped down as AUN’s president to allow its board to move forward with interim leadership, Dickinson officials said Monday.

Ensign, whose name is pronounced “En-SINE,” earned a bachelor’s degree from New College in Florida and a doctorate in international political economy from the University of Maryland.

She also is an avid athlete who swims, jogs and plays squash.

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com.

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