Meet Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco
On July 1, 2014, Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco of Decatur, Ga., became the 11th president of The College of Saint Rose.
Upon the announcement of her appointment, Dr. Stefanco stated: “I am honored and excited to carry on the mission and deeply rooted values of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet and look forward to working with the trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and community to build the College’s future. I love that the College prioritizes community service and recognizes that partnerships with local and regional business, government, and civic leaders are key to the success of higher educational institutions in urban environments. To lead an outstanding institution that is poised to reach even higher levels of innovation and entrepreneurship, to serve in even greater ways the workforce and economic needs of the Capital Region and beyond, and to set a course that will ensure academic excellence and management success is an extraordinary opportunity.”
Stefanco previously served as chief academic officer and the first of the college’s five vice presidents at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. The Division of Academic Affairs included academic programs, the curriculum, staff and faculty recruitment and review, budget planning and management, assessment, student success, international education, sponsored programs and information technology, as well as numerous other offices and resources. During her four-year tenure, she led initiatives that achieved master planning goals, won institutional reaccreditation, increased academic quality and student retention, raised funds from foundations and individuals, and fostered the college’s global efforts.
Prior to her service at Agnes Scott College, Stefanco held leadership and teaching positions at California State University, Stanislaus, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), and Wheaton College in Massachusetts. At CSU Stanislaus, Stefanco was the founding dean of the new College of Humanities and Social Sciences, overseeing 77 undergraduate and graduate programs. Her tenure at Cal Poly included special assistant to the dean for faculty development, chair of the institution’s Department of History, and director of the Women’s Studies Program. Stefanco joined the Wheaton faculty in 1986 as an assistant professor of history and served as co-coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program.
Stefanco earned her doctorate in history from Duke University, a master’s degree in history from Binghamton University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She completed the Harvard Management Development Program, the American Council on Education’s Institute for New Chief Academic Officers, the Council for Independent Colleges’ program on Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission, and Leadership Atlanta. Her research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation and other agencies, and she has published in the areas of Southern and Western women’s history, and higher education leadership. Stefanco previously served as a member of the board of directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and as the vice president/president elect of the Association of Chief Academic Officers. She is a member of the advisory committee for The Council of Independent Colleges’ Campaign for the Liberal Arts and Liberal Arts Colleges.
Stefanco was a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Zagreb in Croatia, served as resident director of a study abroad program at The University of London, and has created programs for student exchange and faculty research in Honduras, Brazil, Portugal, and Croatia. She received the 1989 Faculty Appreciation Award for Teaching at Wheaton College and the Richard K. Simon Outstanding Service Award from the College of Liberal Arts at Cal Poly in 2007.
A native of Garfield, N.J., Stefanco is married to McGuire Gordon, who works in the film industry. The couple has one daughter, Alexandra, who recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.