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Monday, August 16, 2021

Cottey College President Dr. Jann Weitzel announces retirement

Cottey College President Dr. Jann Weitzel announced on August 16, 2021, that she would be retiring effective June 30, 2022.\

“After thoughtful consideration and consultation with my family, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to retire,” said Dr. Weitzel. “My goal is to finish this academic and fiscal year strong, set and accomplish objectives for this year and the years to come, celebrate all that we have accomplished together and turn over the leadership of Cottey to the next President.”

Dr. Weitzel became the 12th president of Cottey College in 2015. As President, she passionately believes in the value of a women’s institution that is founded on a strong liberal arts and sciences program coupled with excellent instruction, and she has worked to ensure that a high level of excellence is reflected in the Cottey curriculum. She has fostered an academic and student life environment that helps prepare each student to be a globally aware and socially responsible leader in her career and in her life. Her commitment to the students personifies Cottey’s goal of being “Creators of Incredible Futures.”

The list of Dr. Weitzel’s accomplishments during her tenure as president of Cottey College is long and varied. Members of the Cottey College Board of Trustees expressed their gratitude for the exceptionally generous manner in which she shared her time and energy.

“Dr. Weitzel’s tenure as President of Cottey College has been defined by her passion for providing women a high quality education that sets them on a path of achieving their dreams,” said Kathryn Bayne, Chair, on behalf of the Cottey College Board of Trustees. “Her commitment to empowering each student with her own ‘voice’ has resulted in a new benchmark for fostering leadership and global awareness in each Cottey graduate. On behalf of the Cottey College Board of Trustees we are grateful for Dr. Weitzel’s commitment to our College; we wish her joy and fulfillment in her next chapter in life.”

Dr. Weitzel has overseen growth in the academic degree program offerings and the athletic programs, the move of the athletic program to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the expansion of the campus. In her six years, the College has renovated the first floor of the Blanche Skiff Ross Memorial Library and the parlor of P.E.O. Hall and has added a cadaver lab, a psychology lab, an Apple Mac computer lab, the Wellness Center, and the Stock Trading Lab/Esports Arena. The most noteworthy capital improvement project was the Chapel renovation and the addition of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Campus Life, which was dedicated in March of 2021. The College has also been recognized on the national level as a Best Regional College and Best Value School, among others.

Dr. Weitzel is a 31-year member of P.E.O., the philanthropic organization that owns the College and focuses on supporting the education of women. “The International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood thanks President Weitzel for her service to our college, Sisterhood and helping women reach for the stars,” said Brenda J. Atchison, President, P.E.O. International Chapter. “We wish her the best in retirement.”

When asked about the most fulfilling part of the job, Dr. Weitzel stated, “Truly, the students have made my time at Cottey incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable. Watching first year students walk across the stage at Opening Convocation to sign the Cottey Book and then witnessing them walk across the stage at Graduation as confident, strong, and determined individuals has been extremely gratifying. My fondest moments will be those spent with students on campus, during Hanging of the Greens, Capping, and Commencement; traveling to France, Italy, and Hawaii; and just getting to know the students on a personal level.”

A native of Iowa, Dr. Weitzel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Gifted Education from the University of Northern Iowa, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Iowa. Dr. Weitzel began her education career in the Allamakee School District in Iowa, where she worked as a middle school teacher for 17 years. She then worked for four years as a graduate student at the University of Iowa, teaching education coursework. She served for 20 years at Lindenwood University, first as a professor of English and Education, then as Dean of the School of Humanities, and ultimately, as Provost.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue my leadership of Cottey throughout the 2021-2022 academic year and to be an active member of our College team, which is comprised of many talented and amazing faculty and staff members who are dedicated to educating the next generation of learners, leaders, and citizens,” said Dr. Weitzel.