Colby-Sawyer Hires Eden Wales Freedman as Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty

Colby-Sawyer College has hired Eden Wales Freedman of Dubuque, Iowa, as its next academic vice president and dean of faculty.

Wales Freedman, who currently serves as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, will begin her role July 1 following the retirement of current Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Laura Sykes. Wales Freedman comes to Colby-Sawyer with more than a decade of diverse experience in higher education, holding positions from vice provost for faculties and academic affairs to department chair and dean of liberal arts to deputy Title IX coordinator.

“We are delighted to welcome Eden to Colby-Sawyer as our next academic vice president and dean of faculty,” Colby-Sawyer President Susan D. Stuebner said. “Eden possesses a strong commitment to, and advancement of, the liberal arts; experience with both undergraduate and graduate programs; an ability to answer tough questions in a thoughtful manner and a depth of experience in academic affairs.”

In her role at Colby-Sawyer, Wales Freedman will serve as the chief academic officer and second-in-command at the college. She will lead a talented collaboration of 54 faculty members who were recently ranked No. 2 in the region by U.S. News and World Report for best undergraduate teaching. She will also be tasked with providing high-level vision and leadership for the college’s many academic departments and programs, and she will support faculty in their work with students both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition, Wales Freedman will serve as a member of the college’s Senior Leadership Team, which advises the president on strategic issues associated with the institution. Members of the college’s Senior Leadership Team also work closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure the fulfillment of the institution’s mission to prepare students to thrive in, and make a positive impact upon, a dynamic, diverse and interdependent world.

“While I loved my work with students in the classroom, I entered administration to be able to effect positive change on a larger systemic level,” said Wales Freedman, who will also hold the title of professor of arts and sciences. “I value the privileges higher education affords, recognize the challenges it faces and wish to safeguard its strengths so all students who want to receive a quality college education can do so. I am eager to collaborate with colleagues at Colby-Sawyer to empower students to succeed in diverse careers, lead meaningful lives and contribute to a global society.”

In her current position as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Clarke University, a private Catholic institution with an enrollment of roughly 1,000, Wales Freedman provides leadership and planning for all academic programs; recruits, hires and develops high-quality faculty members and maintains the budget of the office of academic affairs, among other responsibilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and political science from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in literature from Boston College and a Ph.D. in literature from the University of New Hampshire.

“I was drawn to Colby-Sawyer because of its reputation for academic excellence and commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, professional studies and social justice,” said Wales Freedman, adding that she and her husband, Matthew Freedman, are excited to return to New England. “When I visited Colby-Sawyer, I was instantly impressed with faculty, staff and students' love for the college and care for one another. I knew, almost as soon as I stepped foot on campus, that I would be privileged to join this intellectually rigorous and socially conscious community.”

The college’s search for an academic vice president and dean of faculty was facilitated by Matt Marsallo, managing director at Storbeck Search | Diversified Search.