Norwich University launches search for new president

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 10:39 AM EDT
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Norwich University, the nation's oldest private military college, has launched a search for a new president.

Richard Schneider became president of Norwich in 1992. During his tenure, enrollment grew by 70 percent and the school's endowment grew from $40 million to more than $217 million.

"It's not easy work. And it's not easy work for anybody. And we're doing very, very well, both academically, facilities-wise and financially," Schneider said.

While some other small schools have failed recently, the military academy has seen steady growth since Schneider arrived. There are now nearly 2,500 students and several new buildings on campus.

"In some ways it's a very military thing. We plan really well and then we execute the plan," Schneider said.

The school has hired a firm to conduct a national search for its next president. Schneider won't be involved, but says he's offered some advice to the board. "Just make sure it's a great fit. It's more about the fit," he said.

Schneider was the right fit for the nation's oldest, private military school. He's a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and served eight years of active duty. He retired from the Coast Guard Reserve as a Rear Admiral in 1998.

He's overseen four consecutive capital campaigns that have exceeded goals and raised a total of $240 million dollars. And now he's got a new plan in place for the next president. "The plan calls for making us much more affordable, and that means growing the endowment even more," he said.

He hopes the school will add 600 more students. But they'll be spread all over the world gaining cultural and academic experience with partners. It's part of his mission to focus on students. "They come to my house if they're in trouble at night. You have to care for them. So, that I'm gonna miss," Schneider said.

Schneider will be vacating the president's house in about a year, but he plans to maintain the structure and discipline that he's embraced during a lifetime in uniform. "I'm gonna get up every morning and I'm gonna do my PT and I'm gonna shave and I'm gonna roll my socks and be the same guy that you're talking with today," he said.

He's got a year to prepare for the transition.