Longtime Beloit College President Scott Bierman announces retirement
Beloit College President Scott Bierman will retire at the end of the current academic year, leaving behind a 14-year legacy of vision, financial stability, innovation and the leadership required to calmly steer the campus through a global pandemic.
“Scott Bierman has been a visionary leader who transformed an already strong liberal arts institution into a college that focuses on students’ success during their time on campus while developing them for their careers through programs like Career Channels,” said Board of Trustees Chair Dick Niemiec. “Clearly understanding our history and mission, Scott built on Beloit’s unique historical strengths to move us forward.”
During his tenure, Bierman put a COVID-19 safety and health plan in place early, had the foresight to transform a decommissioned electric power station into the Powerhouse, a hive of student recreation, athletics, and learning, and strengthened the college’s financial position, Niemiec said.
Bierman became Beloit College’s 11th president in 2009, taking up the financial reins during a recession. Bierman reduced nearly all of the college’s external debt, streamlining operating expenses, and increasing net-tuition revenue. The award-winning Powerhouse, a student recreation center and student union, was funded entirely through Historic Tax Credits, the New Markets Tax Credit program, and philanthropy, which allowed the college to open the multi-use, repurposed building in February 2020 without incurring any debt.
Bierman also assembled a strong leadership team and created a positive campus culture where students, faculty, and staff are committed to the college’s success.
Under Bierman’s leadership, the college’s Advanced Mentoring Program (AMP) and experiential learning initiatives have garnered high marks, including in the 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report rankings. The college will launch Impact Beloit next year, which will expand the college’s community-based learning and career-readiness initiatives while helping a community hurt by COVID-19.
On the small liberal arts campus, Bierman is well known for his sincerity and humor, even giving first-year students a pair of signature turtle mascot socks – a Bierman tradition that will live on after he steps down.
“Scott has been a true partner with the Board of Trustees, the campus and the entire Beloit community. Scott and his wife, Melody, always had an open door for our students,” Niemiec said.
In an email announcing his retirement to the campus community and alumni, Bierman wrote that “being a college that changes lives is far more than a catch phrase; it is the lived experience of thousands of Beloiters. The aspirations and inspirations that flow in all directions when students, faculty, and staff are engaged is unstoppable. It is such an honor to be among you….there are few things I believe in more.”
Niemiec said the Board of Trustees is committed to a broad and transparent process to select the college’s 12th president by mid to late spring. “A search committee composed of board members, faculty, students, staff, and alumni will attract outstanding and diverse candidates,” he said.
Bierman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and mathematics from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. Before coming to Beloit College, he spent 27 years at Carleton College in Minnesota, highlighted by being named the Ada M. Harrison Chair of Teaching Social Sciences and professor of economics. He was named Dean of the College in 2005.