July 08, 2023

Boynton takes the reins as Beloit’s 12th college president

Beloit’s former Provost brings decades of experience and a track record of innovation to the post.

President-Elect Eric Boynton speaks to the college community during an introduction event in May, 2023. Credit: Alex Garcia

It’s official: As of July 1, Eric Boynton became Beloit’s 12th president. The appointment, voted on unanimously by the Board of Trustees and announced in May, concludes a successful national search launched in fall 2022 and follows the retirement of 11th President Scott Bierman.

Eric Boynton is an innovator and change expert with more than two decades of experience in higher education and nearly 15 years of leadership experience, including four years at the highest level of Beloit College’s executive leadership team. From 2019 to 2023 he served as Beloit’s Provost and Dean — the college’s chief academic officer — and a professor of philosophy.

Within months of joining Beloit’s senior staff, Boynton helped the college attract national recognition for its strategic initiatives broadening college-to-career pathways and putting teaching and mentoring first. He worked with faculty and staff to integrate career preparedness into every aspect of students’ liberal arts experiences, leading to many new initiatives.

He was integral in steering the college through the pandemic, leading the implementation of a proactive, modular course structure and expediting students’ safe return to campus classrooms in fall 2020. This work gained national attention, positioning the college among its peers as a leader and doer in higher education. He is also a member of the college’s anti-racist liaison team, which has created Becoming Better, a roadmap for equity and inclusion.

Boynton came to Beloit from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where he chaired the philosophy and religious studies department, directed the interdisciplinary studies program and the Black studies program, and founded and directed the honors program. He holds a Ph.D. in the philosophy of religion from Rice University, a master’s degree in religious studies from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands.

The national search, conducted by Russell Reynolds Associates and led by an on-campus search committee, attracted 80 interested prospects, which yielded 35 candidate reviews. Subsequent interviews led the search committee to three finalists, with Boynton emerging as the clear leader.

College Trustee and alumna Nina Weissberg’84 chaired the search committee, which was diverse by design and consisted of five trustees, four faculty members, two staff members, two students, and two community members.

“Eric’s energy, bold ideas, and collaborative leadership are exactly what the college needs to navigate us into the future,” Weissberg says. “We are truly grateful for all the input from our committee members and the community at large.”


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