Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College President Resigns

May 10th, 2010 | SMWC

David G. Behrs, Ph.D., today announced his resignation as president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, effective July 30, 2010. Behrs has accepted an opportunity to return to California to be close to family and friends. His new position in San Anselmo will be as San Domenico Head of School.

Behrs stated, “It has been the greatest honor of my life to have served the College community in my responsibilities as president. My special thanks to all the dedicated Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College faculty, staff, students, and alumnae/i colleagues that each day have shared a mission to continually improve our campus community and provide excellence in the higher education arena.  I stand in amazement at their passion, dedication, and incredible student advocacy.

“Maureen and I wish the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College community continued prosperity and success,” the president said. 

Kathy Lubeznik, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “On behalf of the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Board of Trustees, we thank Dr. Behrs for his leadership as our president. His hard work and dedication provide us a good foundation for the College’s next stages of growth.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Dottie King, Ph.D. vice president for academic affairs to serve as interim president. The Trustees selected King for her strong leadership skills to continue the College’s current direction, her extensive experience in higher education, and her knowledge of the college community. Behrs will assist King during the transition period.

“The Board of Trustees is committed to a smooth transition through a thorough search for a permanent president.  The details of the transition will be announced at a later date. Finding an experienced leader who will build upon our successes is paramount. We will undertake a thoughtful and comprehensive process. We have great confidence in our senior leadership team,” added Lubeznik.

Behrs became the 15th president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on July 1, 2007. He is the first male to be president of SMWC.  Under Behrs leadership, SMWC’s achievements include:

  • An increase in visibility of the College locally and regionally
  • Proactive collaboration with Indiana State University, Ivy Tech State College, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • A six percent total enrollment increase
  • No reduction in workforce during the economic downturn
  • Salary increases for employees for the 2010-11 academic year
  • An extensive program analysis process
  • An annual Homecoming event to keep alums connected
  • Launch of Woods Online, an undergraduate program completely online
  • Addition of the Master of Education program 
  • A focus on strategic planning
  • Several nationally competitive athletic teams
  • An expanded international outreach initiative, and
  • Participation in the Yellow Ribbon veterans’ program allowing qualified students to attend SMWC tuition-free.