Stoelinga no longer joining Carroll University as president

University board of trustees to resume search for next leader

Sara Ray Stoelinga.

Carroll University will have to resume its search for a new president after Sara Ray Stoelinga withdrew her acceptance of the position.

Sara Ray Stoelinga.
Sara Ray Stoelinga.

Stoelinga announced her decision in a letter to the university’s board of trustees, saying she wanted to continue her work in K-12 education and would not be leaving her position as director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute.

“This was a very difficult decision that comes with many mixed emotions for me,” she said. “My decision in no way reflects negatively on Carroll University. I appreciate the warm welcome I have received from the Carroll community and the excellent work being done at the university.”

Stroelinga was named as Carroll’s first female president in November. She would have replaced Doug Hastad, who is retiring June 30 after leading the school for more than a decade.

Jose Olivieri, Carroll board chair, on Wednesday sent Stoelinga’s letter to alumni and Carroll community members and said the board would immediately resume its search “for a dynamic leader who will advance the university’s mission and vision.”

“We plan to move forward in this process with the continued assistance of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting and are confident that the search will be a success,” Olivieri wrote. “As more details regarding the search become available they will be shared with you.”

The university issued a statement echoing Olivieri’s sentiment that the board would resume its search for a new president.

“We are confident an individual will be identified who can advance the university’s mission and vision through initiatives that reach across all areas of higher education,” the statement said. “With significant investments and growth on campus and strong community relationships, Carroll University is positioned for a successful future.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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