Antioch University Seattle (AUS) President, Dr. Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet, will leave her position effective June 30, 2013. Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet has been an integral member of the Antioch University community since she joined the University as president of the Seattle campus in July 2007. She is the first Native American woman to ascend to the presidency of an accredited university outside the tribal college system.
“I want to thank Cassandra for her years of dedication and service to the Antioch University Seattle community and am grateful for her commitment to our Seattle campus, our institution, and our mission. She has made a tangible difference and impression on our Seattle campus and her successor will inherit a great institution well-positioned to further the Antioch mission,” said Antioch University Chancellor Felice Nudelman.
During her time with Antioch University, Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet made a significant impact on the institution, the students who have studied and grown at the campus, and the faculty and staff who have worked with her and respected the calm and collaborative leadership style that resonates from her deep connection to her Navajo roots and culture.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to advance the mission of Antioch University and for the support, skills, and encouragement of the AUS faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and AUS’s dedicated Board of Trustees,” Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet commented. “Initially, I will take some time to be with family and friends, and dote on my three grandchildren. In the longer term, I will remain professionally active and continue my life’s work promoting success in higher education for Native Americans and minority women leaders.”
Accomplishments under Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet’s leadership are many. Foremost are the partnerships with Native communities of Puget Sound. Other partnerships also have been formed, including the First Place School, the Belltown Business Association, and strengthened connections with the Seattle arts community through Freehold Theater, Richard Hugo House and Pratt Fine Arts Center. In her tenure, new scholarships were established, including the Richard Norris Native American Scholarship and the AUS Board of Trustees Scholarship. Innovative programs include the Institute of War Stress Injuries and Social Justice, Drama Therapy, and Center for Teaching and Learning.
In alignment with Antioch’s commitment and leadership in sustainability, Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment in 2008 and committed all construction and building renovations to be LEED Silver. AUS also placed second in RecycleMania, a national competition with 676 participating higher education schools.
“Cassandra has committed herself wholeheartedly to Antioch University Seattle for six years. Her accomplishments are many and she has made a deep and lasting impact on our institution, our students and our community,” said Chuck Heinrich, chair of the Antioch University Seattle Board of Trustees. “Her successor will have a lot to build upon and we are confident that this position will attract a highly skilled pool of candidates,” he added.
Antioch University has engaged RH Perry to coordinate the search for Dr. Manuelito-Kerkvliet’s successor. In partnership with the campus community, RH Perry will expedite the search to have a smooth transition to new leadership effective July 1, 2013.
Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Seattle, Keene, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.