Carroll University names first female president


Wisconsin’s oldest college gains new leadership with Sara Ray Stoelinga, 43. She was named successor to retiring president Douglas Hastad.

Hastad will retire June 30 and Stoelinga, who comes from the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute will begin July 1, 2017.

Stoelinga is the University’s first female president.

She told Biz Times, “It’s an honor. Becoming a college president has been a lifelong career goal for me. Becoming Carroll University president is humbling, and becoming the first female president is obviously wonderful. I’m thrilled.”

According to Biz Times

“Stoelinga said she plans to “continue to build on Doug’s (Hastad) legacy, particularly when it comes to his emphasis on expanding Carroll’s business and health sciences programs.

“He’s done a great job,” Stoelinga said. “It’s a privilege to follow such a strong and beloved leader.”

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota to a theology professor at the University of St. Thomas and a high school teacher for St. Paul Public Schools, Stoeligna received a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D in sociology from the University of Chicago. After completing her education, Stoelinga stayed with the University of Chicago, where she helped build its Urban Education Institute over the past 22 years. The UEI conducts research on education, operates a charter school and trains urban teachers in Chicago.

In her current role as director of the UEI, Stoelinga oversees 500 employees and a $46 million operating budget.

“Frankly, she just blew the search committee away when we interviewed her,” said Jim DeJong, chair of Carroll University’s presidential search committee. “We were so just extremely impressed with her ability to think strategically and bring insight into some of the challenges that face higher education.”

Read more about Stoelinga and this historic moment for Carroll University on Biz Times