- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Tom Botzman, St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s vice president for business and finance, will take over as president at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania starting next summer.
Botzman, who has overseen St. Mary’s College’s finances since 2004, said he is looking forward to leading the Catholic university in northeast Pennsylvania. The school has roughly the same number of full-time undergraduate students as St. Mary’s College, but also enrolls hundreds of part-time students, many of whom are in one of the university’s graduate programs.
“I’ve been hoping to do that for quite a while,” he said of the new job, which he will officially begin next July. He said he will continue working at St. Mary’s College through the end of this academic year.
Botzman’s areas of responsibility during his eight years at St. Mary’s have included finance, human resources, facilities and maintenance, information technology, government relations, athletics, sailing and public safety. Some of those areas have required him to handle student, staff and faculty grievances over the years.
Botzman said one of the notable memories of his time at St. Mary’s was procuring a cruise ship to house about 240 students displaced because of a mold problem in several dormitory buildings last year.
“We did it. We took care of the students [and] we brought them home,” he said.
Botzman’s wife, Vanessa, works as a nurse at several area Catholic schools. They have one daughter, Gabriela, a senior at St. Mary’s Ryken High School.
“I’m going to miss the people, here on campus and in the county, he said.
He said that from the moment he arrived in St. Mary’s people were welcoming to him and his family.
“This is a place with a lot of good people,” Botzman said.
Botzman, who also held tenure at St. Mary’s College as a professor of economics, previously served for 15 years on the faculty at Mount Union College in Ohio.
He said that his background in teaching and administration will be useful in the new leadership post.
He said Misericordia has “an impressive reputation for linking the liberal arts and sciences to a career-oriented education.”
He is also hoping the faculty, staff and students at Misericordia will be engaging as those at St. Mary’s.
“Tom possesses the background and the credentials to make him an outstanding president,” Michael MacDowell, Misericordia’s current president, said in a statement. “His years of leadership in higher education at both private and public colleges, his interest and experience in international higher education programs, and his demeanor fit well with the people and programs that make up the university.”
Botzman was a visiting professor and Fulbright Scholar at the University of the Americas in Mexico City, Mexico, teaching there four times from 1992 through 1996. He was named an American Council on Education Fellow in 2002. Botzman said he worked in industry prior to becoming a faculty member and is the holder of 12 U.S. patents related to rubber compounds for tires, resulting primarily through his work with Goodyear.