The Council of Independent Colleges clearly viewed Bethany College provost Kenneth M. Macur as presidential material when it selected him in February to participate in its year-long Executive Leadership Academy, a program that prepares senior-level administrators in academia to become college presidents.
As it turns out, the Kansas college administrator will have to learn on the job.
The Medaille College Board of Trustees tapped the certified public accountant and former management consultant to become the college’s seventh president, wrapping up a search that began around the same time Macur was selected for the national leadership program.
Macur will take the reins of the college June 1, college officials announced Thursday. Macur was traveling in Germany with his family and was not available to comment, according to Medaille officials.
Macur was chosen from among three finalists who visited the campus earlier this month and in late April to talk with administrators, faculty, staff and students.
Macur’s blend of business acumen and academic experience helped him stand apart from other candidates, said Charles E. Moran Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees.
“He’s very enthusiastic. He’s very hardworking, very bright,” Moran said.
At Bethany College, a Lutheran school located more than 1,000 miles southwest of Buffalo, Macur oversaw admissions, financial aid and academic affairs and was responsible for growing student enrollment and increasing retention rates. Bethany had a full-time equivalent enrollment of 667 students in 2012-13, making it quite a bit smaller than Medaille, which the same year had 2,587 undergraduate students, according to U.S. Education Department data.
Prior to Bethany, from 2009 to 2012, Macur was associate vice president for academic affairs and online learning at Edgewood College in Madison, Wis. He also was chairman of the college’s accounting program from 2003 to 2008.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy in 1978, an MBA in finance in 1980 and a doctoral degree in accountancy in 1988 – all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Macur will face significant challenges when he arrives at Medaille, which had to close its Amherst campus in 2014 in the face of a significant downturn in its graduate student enrollment and a multi-million deficit. College officials said they have addressed the deficit and turned the corner with new programs and online offerings. .
Moran declined to comment on the terms of the college’s contract with Macur, who succeeds Richard T. Jurasek.
Jurasek, who announced in October he will retire this summer after eight years, made $291,495 in salary and benefits in 2013, according to Medaille’s 2014 nonprofit tax return forms.
Moran did say that the contract with Macur does not include use of a historic mansion at 88 Lincoln Parkway, which Medaille purchased in 2006 for $975,000 as a residence for the college president.
Jurasek has purchased his own home and will be moving out of the residence, which likely will be sold, said Moran.
Macur and his wife, Franziska, who taught communications at Bethany, have two daughters.