Blattner to step down as head of Caldwell University at end of school year

Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner will step down from that role at the end of the year, ending an 11-year run as head of the school, university officials said.

Blattner has been appointed the next president at Fontbonne University in her home state of Missouri and will assume that role on July 1, 2020.

Caldwell’s board of trustees will begin an immediate search for the university’s next president.

Laurita Warner, chair of the Caldwell University board, said the university is grateful to Blattner for her leadership over the last 10 years, noting that Blattner helped the school achieve university status as well as advance in prestigious university rankings.

“With Dr. Blattner’s energy and initiative, the university has achieved many significant milestones, and Caldwell students have flourished because of her care, understanding and belief in them,” Warner said.

Blattner, in a release, said she is grateful for having had the chance to be a part of the Caldwell family.

“From the moment (my husband) Tim and I first stepped foot on the Caldwell campus during the interview process, we felt a sense of community and an appreciation for the institution’s Catholic Dominican mission,” she said. “When we moved to New Jersey more than 10 years ago, we left behind family and friends as we immersed ourselves in a new tradition, and now, it is time in our personal lives to return to those who remained in Missouri.

“I am grateful for the people who welcomed us, for the experiences we’ve shared with the campus community, for outstanding colleagues on the leadership team and for the opportunity to lead a vibrant campus that lives out its mission and puts students at the center of its existence.”

Blattner is the university’s first lay president. Her many accomplishments at Caldwell have included:

  • Achieving university status;
  • Boosting undergraduate enrollment in welcoming Caldwell’s largest freshman classes in 2017, 2018 and 2019;
  • Leading in advancing Caldwell’s rankings on the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges lists;
  • Overseeing the creation of state-of-the-art nursing labs and the new Eileen Jones Multicultural Center;
  • Overseeing the implementation of new academic programs and athletic sports including sprint football and men’s lacrosse;
  • Innovatively repurposing building space in many areas on campus;
  • Relocating and overseeing the construction for the campus chapel in a central location for students, faculty, staff and visitors;
  • Starting mission trips to Belize, the annual community service Caldwell Day to give back to the borough of Caldwell and the state of New Jersey, the study-abroad course in Rome and the Dominican Formation Program for faculty and staff;
  • Advancing Caldwell University and higher education in her service on state and national higher education organizations and in establishing relationships with donors and alumni and in the community.

The announcement came on the same day U.S. News & World Report released its latest college rankings.

The school was listed as the “Best Value” school in New Jersey and No. 18 overall in the Regional Universities North category, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Colleges list. The school moved up seven spots in the overall rankings.

Caldwell University was also noted in the rankings of Regional Universities in the North as a top performer for social mobility, ethnic diversity and most international students. The school is ranked among the Top 75 regional universities in the North.

Stephen Quinn, acting vice president of enrollment management and communications, said this year’s rankings are some of the best for Caldwell University.

“We are thrilled that the U.S. News & World Report shows us as the best value in New Jersey and among the Top 20 for best value schools in the Regional Universities North category,” he said in a statement. “We are reaching those milestones by offering a cost-effective, strong academic education with a focus on each individual student’s aspirations and goals.”

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