Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA 90608-0634


Media Contact: 562.907.4974 or mediarelations@whittier.edu 


WHITTIER, CA (February 11, 2005)—Dr. Sharon D. Herzberger, vice president for institutional planning and administration for Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., has been named Whittier College’s 14th president. Herzberger will begin her term on July 1, 2005, overseeing both the undergraduate campus in Whittier and the School of Law, located in Costa Mesa. 

“We could not be more delighted to welcome Dr. Herzberger to Whittier,” said alumnus Richard I. Gilchrist, chair of the Board of Trustees.  “She has a strong appreciation of Whittier’s commitment to the liberal arts and the culture that makes the college special.  Her outstanding background in strategic institutional planning and administrative execution, as well as a deep understanding and commitment to the campus community experience and academic excellence, has prepared her well to be our next president.  She is a proven, dynamic leader with the highest personal qualities, and we know she will build on and enhance Whittier’s solid foundation and core values. This will be a new and exciting era for Whittier College and the Whittier College School of Law.”     

According to Judy Swayne, who chaired Whittier’s Presidential Search Committee: “The committee is very confident that they have selected a candidate who will be the pride of Whittier College for many years to come. We are certain that in Dr. Herzberger, we have the right candidate for Whittier’s future.”  

“Whittier is an extraordinary place and has so much to offer," remarked Herzberger.  "Its foundation of integrity and respect for the individual born of the College's Quaker origin; its award-winning Whittier Scholars program; the intercultural exchange made possible because of its diversity; and the commitment to integrating theory and practice both at the Whittier campus and at the law school–all present an unparalleled opportunity for an incoming president.  I value the fact that Whittier's faculty exemplify the teacher/scholar ideal and have made the College all about the students and their success.”  

“To lead a college of Whittier’s distinction, history, and character,” she added, “will be a singular and significant honor.”  

Herzberger’s career in academe spans 30 years and is marked by a variety of successive leadership roles and professional achievement, affording her experience in virtually every conceivable aspect of campus life and administration.  

After teaching posts at both Northwestern University and Schilling College in Madrid, Herzberger began her longtime association with Trinity College in 1980, when she joined the faculty of the psychology department, eventually serving seven years as department chair. Quickly perceived as a dedicated and passionate member of the community, she was appointed special assistant to the president for affirmative action, responsible for faculty diversification, policy review, campus education, and hiring practices.  

She then served as associate vice president for the college’s campaign, focusing on prospect management and cultivation, and serving as liaison between faculty and development staff to identify academic campaign priorities. Upon completion of the campaign, she moved on to even greater challenges as vice president for student services, overseeing all aspects of residential life, co-curricular programming, and student activities.  

It was during this time that she conceived of a bold plan for a cross-college task force to examine and measure student success and satisfaction, dedicated to removing academic, social, cultural, and financial barriers to high achievement and contentment among all students on campus. The work of this committee proved invaluable, and under Herzberger’s tenure retention numbers—particularly for students of color—increased substantially. This experiment also led her to create the Consortium on High Achievement and Success in 2000, an organization she continues to head. This group of 36 selective, private liberal arts colleges and universities—which include Dartmouth, Wellesley, and Bowdoin Colleges—collaborate in the creation of healthy campus environments where students of all backgrounds may reach their highest potential as scholars and leaders.   

Last fall Herzberger was appointed Trinity’s vice president for institutional planning and administration, tasked with oversight of the strategic planning process in preparation for an upcoming capital campaign and management of the Cornerstones Project, which establishes institutional priorities and aligns resource allocations for critical initiatives. 

Herzberger remains a passionate scholar; she continues to teach psychology courses and her research interests focus on domestic violence and affirmative action. A prolific writer, she has presented numerous papers, published articles and chapters, and co-authored two books—Affirmative Action: The Pros and Cons of Policy and Practice, and Violence within the Family: Social Psychological Perspectives.  

Herzberger is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Pennsylvania State University and holds a master’s and a doctoral degree in social psychology and measurement from the University of Illinois.  She is married to David Herzberger, professor of Spanish and comparative literary and cultural studies and head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Connecticut.  The Herzbergers have two children, Jeffrey and Benjamin, both in college.  

Founded by Quakers in 1887, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering a traditional liberal arts program integrated with both professional and pre-professional courses of study. With an emphasis on diversity, community, and curricular innovation, the College’s primary mission is to endow students with the education, skills, and values appropriate for global leadership and service. 

Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Orange County.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927