Fielding Graduate University President Dr. Richard Meyers announced at the recent Board of Trustees meeting that he will not seek extension of his contract, which ends Dec. 31, 2013.
“My vision has been to leave the university in a secure financial position with a future plan,” Meyers said. “My focus has been on increased shared governance, enhanced programs and degrees that prepare students to be more socially responsible, international components that make Fielding of value globally, and increased recognition of Fielding’s unique role in higher education.”
The board accepted Dr. Meyers’ announcement with deep appreciation for his efforts on behalf of Fielding.
“Dr. Meyers’ service to the university during a period of great upheaval in global higher education has helped position Fielding Graduate University to continue its pioneering role as the best graduate school for adult learners,” said Michael Goldstein, JD, chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Meyers will step down as president at the end of the Fielding Graduate University in July 2013, at which time Provost Katrina Rogers, Ph.D., will become acting president designee.
Dr. Meyers has a long and distinguished career in higher education, with more than three decades serving as a university president. He began his journey as a founding dean in Ridgecrest at Cerro Coso Community College, then transitioned to president three years later as one of the youngest college presidents in the nation at that time.
His career continued at Pasadena City College, Western Oregon University and Webster University in St. Louis, and in all instances Dr. Meyers was responsible for significant increases in each university’s endowment, enrollment and expansion. Fielding was Dr. Meyers’ fifth presidential appointment in higher education. He currently is the longest serving President in U. S. higher education.
“Fielding is so extraordinarily unique,” he said. “My service here continues to be a labor of love. … I am honored to add my name to the illustrious list of visionary leaders that preceded me.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Meyers received numerous awards and honors and distinguished himself as a champion of gender equity, race relations, shared governance and international education. He and his wife Yakko developed international campuses and programs including 3 campuses in China and the 1st American MBA degree on Chinese soil, the 1st Dual Degree program between a foreign university and a Japanese University and expanded partnerships in England and Thailand, among others. He was a Fulbright scholar in Egypt, received an honorary doctorate from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, for his work in science and culture and helped numerous women break through the “glass ceiling.” His wife Yakko and he saved the Community Music School in St. Louis, where without their intervention the school would have closed. Currently the CMS enrolls hundreds of music students each year. Dr. Meyers was also honored by the NAACP for pioneering work in race relations in Southern California. For many years he was involved in regional accreditation and served or chaired on over 25 visits for three regional accreditors. Dr. Meyers has also been recognized for his over 10 years of volunteer work through music therapy in nursing and retirement homes primarily working with Alzheimer patients to improve their memories through live clarinet performances of music from their youths.
He holds a music degree from De Paul University as well as masters and doctorates in instructional technology and psychology from USC. Following his retirement from Fielding, Dr. Meyers will continue to be an active part of the Santa Barbara community.
Dr. Rogers serves as provost and senior vice president at Fielding. In the educational and nonprofit sectors, she has held many positions including as executive, consultant, board member, and teacher. She led the European campus for Thunderbird School of Global Management in Geneva, Switzerland, for a nearly a decade, working with international organizations such as the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, and the European Union as well as companies such as Renault, Nestlé, Club Med, Levi-Strauss and Disneyland Paris.
Dr. Rogers is a leader in the field of conservation, most notably with the Grand Canyon Trust and the Arboretum, both located in Arizona. She led conservation projects in rural communities, lobbied Congress for stronger environmental legislation, and participated in restoration work in the US, China, and Costa Rica. In the course of her work, Dr. Rogers raised more than $20 million in grants and donations for conservation efforts throughout the country.
Dr. Rogers has served as board president for the Environmental Fund of Arizona and serves as a trustee for the Public Dialogue Consortium and the Toda Institute for Global Policy and Peace Research. She was a student Fulbright scholar for two years in Germany at the University of Tubingen and received the prestigious Bundeskanzler post-doctoral fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
“I am honored that the president and the board have placed their trust in me and our community as we build a future for Fielding based on our strong learning model for adult learners, informed by the relationships between our faculty and students,” she said.