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Manchester President Dave McFadden to retire in 2023

Manchester University President Dave McFadden announced today he will retire as the university’s 15th president at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2023.

dave_mcfadden_headshot “Closing in on 30 years working at Manchester and nine as president, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and how we are poised for the future,” he told faculty and staff in an email.

McFadden is unique in the history of Manchester. He met his wife, Renée, on their first day of freshman orientation, and their children are fourth-generation Manchester graduates. His parents, Wilbur and Joyce, also met at Manchester.

After graduating from Manchester in 1982, McFadden earned his Ph.D. in political science at Claremont Graduate University. After serving Claremont as an administrator for six years, he returned to his alma mater and hometown to lead Manchester’s enrollment efforts. Over the next two decades, McFadden worked in strategic planning, marketing, institutional research and institutional accreditation. As assistant professor of political science, he taught environmental politics.

In 2004, McFadden was appointed executive vice president. In this role, he led the exploration and launch of Manchester’s Pharmacy Program and the opening of Manchester University Fort Wayne, becoming dean of the College of Pharmacy in 2012.

He was inaugurated as president on July 1, 2014.

Accomplishments during his Manchester career include:

  • Starting Fast Forward, offering the option of a four-year degree in three years
  • Creating the Triple Guarantee for financial aid, timely graduation and job readiness
  • Establishing new health science programs, including pharmacogenomics (PGx), Master of Science in Nutrition and Nutrigenomics (MSNGx), nursing and Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Encouraging undergraduate initiatives, including new academic majors and minors, marching band and esports
  • Building the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center, Spartan Stadium and new Manchester Chime tower
  • Increasing awareness and progress on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic

    McFadden has been an active community and church leader, serving as president of the Community Foundation of Wabash County board, as chair of the Manchester Church of the Brethren board and as a member of the boards of Bethany Theological Seminary, Brethren Mennonite Council, Questa Education Foundation, Parkview Hospital Board of Directors and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

    “I began my presidency with the guiding principle that we best serve our students by being mission centered and market smart.” McFadden said. My mantra has been that we are a place where you can be yourself and are challenged to become your best self, all with the goal of improving the human condition.”

    Known to students as Pres Dave, he has braved a zip-line, spoke to them in convocations at the beginning of each semester and invited them to Tall Oaks, the official president’s residence, for dinner and conversation.

    “Throughout my time at Manchester, I have been blessed to work with extraordinary colleagues. I want to thank each one for putting students first, as well as taking on challenges and embracing opportunities along the way,” he said.

    “Renée and I began talking about retirement last year. I shared our decision with John Gilmore, chair of Manchester’s Board of Trustees, several weeks ago and with the full board on Friday. John has asked Board Member Dave Haist to lead the search committee for our 16th president."

    Statement by John Gilmore

    John Gilmore, chair of Manchester’s Board of Trustees, thanked McFadden for his commitment to the University:

    Manchester University has benefited greatly from Dave McFadden’s leadership during the 30 years he has been affiliated with the institution. His knowledge of higher education, experience within the industry, connections with other leaders in northeast Indiana and commitment to Manchester have served the school exceedingly well. 

    Dave is inextricably linked to the University’s mission and core values, and he has worked diligently as president to ensure that Manchester “respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

    Among his many accomplishments as president, Dave’s role in expanding the University’s impact as a leader in the health sciences is particularly noteworthy.

    The Board of Trustees extends its congratulations and deep appreciation to Dave and Renée as they anticipate spending more time together come July 1, and it looks forward to appropriately celebrating Dave’s achievements as president next spring.

     In the near future, Manchester's Board of Trustees will announce the process for selecting President McFadden’s successor.  A search committee will be formed and will be chaired by Dave Haist, a current trustee of the University and former chair of its Board of Trustees. Input from members of the Manchester community will be sought in a variety of ways during the search.    
  • Oct. 22, 2022