REDLANDS: University Board of Trustees Unanimously Elected
Saturday June 2, 2012 the Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Ralph W. Kuncl as the 11th President of the University of Redlands. Dr. Kuncl, currently Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Rochester, succeeds retiring President James R. Appleton. Dr. Kuncl will assume his duties in mid-August 2012.
The Presidential Search Committee, ably chaired by Board of Trustees Member Carole Beswick, conducted a careful search, recruited and reviewed more than 115 applicants and interviewed seven finalists before unanimously selecting Dr. Kuncl as the sole nominee. The finalists all were highly qualified, but the exceptional level of Dr. Kuncl’s background, the depth and quality of his academic and leadership experience, and his outstanding personal qualities clearly set him apart from the other candidates. The Board of Trustees is proud to name Dr. Kuncl as our new president. He is the right person to lead Redlands as we continue to live out the vision of educating both hearts and minds led so effectively by Dr. Appleton for more than 20 years.
Dr. Kuncl was born and raised in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles. He received his A.B. degree from Occidental College, then earned both his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and its School of Medicine, before joining the faculty there and serving for 20 years as Professor of Neurology and Pathology. He is an internationally recognized neurologist, whose ground-breaking work has led to critical advances in the care and treatment of patients with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was also a principal organizer and fund-raiser for the establishment of the Cal Ripken-Lou Gehrig Endowment for Neuromuscular Disease.
In 2001 Dr. Kuncl began his academic leadership career as vice provost of undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University. He then served successfully as provost of Bryn Mawr College for five years, before being named provost and executive vice president of the University of Rochester in 2007. His colleagues characterize his leadership as visionary and innovative with an effective consensus-building style. Throughout his administrative career Dr. Kuncl has supported faculty and student initiatives that have brought transformative changes to the institutions he has served. He also has an outstanding record of success in securing grants and private gifts in support of research and academic initiatives. The committee was particularly impressed by Dr. Kuncl’s personal references. At every level, he is well-liked and respected by those who work and learn with him.
While much of his education and career have been at the highest levels of the sciences, Dr. Kuncl is also a strong advocate for the liberal arts, who speaks with eloquent conviction about his commitment to the mission of the University of Redlands. He also strongly supports the fine arts and is an accomplished choral musician with more than 20 years of experience performing with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus.
As a national leader in higher education Dr. Kuncl has years of experience serving as a board member and consultant for several leading groups focused on higher education. He served on the National Executive Board of the Reinvention Center and as an assembly representative for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Tuition Plan Consortium, national sponsor of the Private College 529 Plan.
Dr. Kuncl’s wife, Nancy, has been a strong partner in his college leadership career. She is also a successful former businesswoman who has in recent years become a hospice nurse, and plans on continuing that career in California.
The search for the University of Redlands’ 11th President is one of the most important and successful in the history of the University. We are indeed fortunate and honored to have attracted such a distinguished new president. We look to Ralph Kuncl to help sustain the wonderful legacy of our 105 year history, but more importantly to lead our University in building and achieving an even stronger future.
Please join me and the Board of Trustees in warmly welcoming Ralph and Nancy Kuncl to the University of Redlands. Over the coming months, we look forward to introducing them both to the entire University community, including the campus, alumni, friends and supporters everywhere. Please help them feel at home by sharing that generous Redlands spirit, and by continuing your support of the University for the benefit of the students we serve, now and for the future.