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Elizabeth Paul selected as Nazareth's next president


Elizabeth Paul, the current president of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, has been chosen as Nazareth College's next president. In July, she'll take over for Daan Braveman, who has held the post for the last 15 years.

The college announced Paul's selection at a news conference Monday. Braveman, who is retiring, said the choice is a wise decision for the school and for Paul. He welcomed her by reciting the lyrics from the song "The Weight" by The Band.

“‘Can you tell me where a man might find a bed? He just grinned and shook my hand, and “no, was all he said,’” Braveman said. “The difference between our Nazareth and this song, is we will welcome you warmly and with open arms and you’ll have an extraordinary place to lay your head.”
Elizabeth Paul will be Nazareth College's next president. She'll be the seventh female to hold the position. - PHOTO BY JAMES BROWN, WXXI NEWS
  • Elizabeth Paul will be Nazareth College's next president. She'll be the seventh female to hold the position.

Paul comes from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she is currently President. She said the two colleges are similar and face headwinds in what she calls a “challenging time in higher education.”

“We have demographic changes around the corner that mean that we will have fewer traditional age college students in our midst and so we have to be on our toes, we have to be explaining who we are to that young audience,” said Paul.

Paul gained acclaim for expanding community partnerships in Columbus and attracting the largest undergraduate class in Capital University’s history.

But Paul has also faced criticism at her current job.

The university's faculty passed a resolution expressing no confidence in Paul this past June, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch. The resolution listed concerns such as increased spending by the university amidst declining enrollment, exacerbating an existing budget deficit; a lack of communication regarding university officials' plans to correct the fiscal problems; and declining faculty morale.

In the Dispatch article, Paul countered that the university was to welcome a much larger incoming class this past fall than it had the previous year, and that the university's budget would be balanced by 2021. Members of the university's board told the Dispatch that they had full confidence in Paul.

At Monday's news conference, Paul said that Rochester’s social justice history is part of what made the college attractive as well as its academic philosophy. Paul also spent some time in the area doing research while doing post-graduate work at Harvard. She said she’s looking forward to getting to know the community better.

“What Nazareth brings to our world is critically important for ensuring that we are defining a future that we all want and that will be healthy for generations to come,” said Paul. “My husband and I very much enjoyed making ourselves carsick driving all over the place. And trying to get the lay of the land. But it will be a pleasure to start getting to know this place and make this our home.

Paul will be inaugurated on September 17 and will be the seventh female president in Nazareth College’s history.

James Brown is a reporter for WXXI News.