Arcadia University has dismissed President Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III after less than two years of leading the school in Glenside.
No explanation was given to the faculty, and Oxholm said the board of trustees declined to give him any reason for its decision, which was effective Friday.
Nicolette DeVille Christensen, executive director of the College of Global Studies and vice president of Arcadia, will serve as chief operating officer while the board searches for a replacement.
Arcadia, a private university with about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, focuses on study abroad and international education.
Less than two years at the helm
Oxholm became president of Arcadia on July 1, 2011. Before his tenure at Arcadia, Oxholm was vice president of Drexel where he developed Drexel University’s Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, California.
Oxholm was popular with students. In December 2011, Amanda Card, editor in chief of The Tower, Arcadia’s student newspaper, wrote a glowing opinion piece praising the school spirit that Oxholm brought to the campus. The article insisted that he “exceeded any expectations of a new president and all within a few short months.”
In a statement to the Inquirer, Oxholm defended his tenure.
“I am very proud of my record of accomplishment at Arcadia and surprised and disappointed that I was not allowed to continue in the leadership of what is a wonderful liberal arts college,” he said.
He cited campus construction, balancing the budget and increasing the number of students applying to the school and the school’s retention rate as signs of his success as president.
While the college released a statement to the press about their confidence in Christensen as acting president, a representative declined to comment on why the board dismissed Oxholm.