AMHERST — The board of directors of the Five College Consortium has appointed Sarah Pfatteicher to be its new executive director, succeeding Neal Abraham, who will be retiring after nine years at the helm of the higher-ed collaboration. Pfatteicher is currently associate dean for Academic Affairs and a research professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“The board was impressed with the breadth and depth of experience that Sarah will bring to the position,” said Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College and of the Five College board of directors. “The level of leadership she’s shown at the University of Wisconsin in both academic and administrative endeavors is remarkable, and will serve the consortium well.”
Pfatteicher (pronounced FAH-ticker) attended Northfield-Mount Hermon School and graduated from Smith College before earning her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held a variety of positions at the university and currently oversees more than 70 academic programs, services for 5,000 students, and a budget of $2.3 million. She has extensive experience in both academic and administrative efforts, having created new academic programs, led a major curriculum revision, coordinated strategic planning efforts, and helped develop a blueprint for diversifying the institution, all while teaching engineering courses.
“I’m excited to return to the Pioneer Valley and honored to have the opportunity to work with these unique and storied institutions,” Pfatteicher said. “I’m particularly drawn to the unusual breadth of the Five College portfolio and its inclusion of both academic and administrative programs. I believe my own diverse higher-ed background will make me a good fit.”
Chosen in a national search that considered some 200 candidates, Pfatteicher will begin working at Five Colleges on April 23.