Saint Michael’s College announces 18th president

November 3, 2023

Dr. Richard Plumb will serve as the 18th president of Saint Michael’s College. (Photo courtesy Dr. Richard Plumb)

The Saint Michael’s College Board of Trustees announced today that Richard Plumb, Ph.D., will become the 18th president of the College. He will begin his new role in January 2024.

Dr. Plumb brings extensive institutional leadership experience, having most recently served as president of Saint Mary’s College in California. Prior to that, Dr. Plumb served seven years as executive vice president and provost at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and nine years as dean of the Seaver College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University. A first-generation college student, Dr. Plumb holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University.

Dr. Plumb was selected by the College’s Board of Trustees with guidance from a committee comprised of faculty, staff and students representing various areas of the College. He emerged as the best candidate from a pool of over 90 applicants who were recruited and vetted by Academic Search, a highly regarded firm that supports executive recruitment for colleges and universities.

“I am delighted to report that the Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Richard Plumb as the 18th president of Saint Michael’s College,” said Board Chair Patricia Casey. “Richard’s skills and expertise stood out and are well aligned with the challenges and opportunities before us. His disciplined and thoughtful approach to innovation along with his inclination towards timely action and deep appreciation for the College’s mission will serve us well.”

Campus community members who met Dr. Plumb during the interview process described him as a thoughtful, calm and reflective leader, a deep thinker with a strong intellect, and a team builder. They also noted his track record as a data-driven problem-solver.

“We were impressed by his commitment to the liberal arts, diversity, equity and inclusion, and ensuring all students, faculty and staff find an authentic sense of belonging on campus, regardless of background,” Presidential Search Committee Chair and Board of Trustees member Rob Noonan ’82 said. “His principles and background resonate with the College’s mission, and our Edmundite heritage of hospitality, education, and social justice. We are thrilled to welcome him to campus.”

Dr. Plumb will take the helm of Saint Michael’s from interim President Dr. Lewis Thayne, who began serving in June following the retirement of 17th President of Saint Michael’s College, Dr. Lorraine Sterritt. Dr. Plumb and his wife Mary look forward to their new lives in Vermont. They have three adult children, Matthew, Lauren, and Sean, who are each happily married and have blessed them with seven grandchildren. Dr. Plumb expressed his excitement to join Saint Michael’s community and chart an ambitious course for the College’s future.

“Mary and I are excited to join the Saint Michael’s community and be a part of its mission and the transformative education it provides students,” said Dr. Plumb. “Saint Michael’s prepares students to become catalysts for positive transformation on both local and global scales. I am looking forward to working closely with the Edmundites, Board, faculty, staff, and students on innovative ideas and initiatives that will provide the foundation for the College to thrive far into the future.”

The College is planning a community introduction and welcome with Dr. Plumb in mid-November. More details about his visit will follow.

About Dr. Richard Plumb 

Born and raised in upstate New York, Dr. Richard Plumb was the first in his family to graduate from college after completing an undergraduate degree at Syracuse University. Little did he know this experience would spur a lifetime of learning and passion for higher education.

Dr. Plumb graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1982, which was closely followed by a master’s degree (1985) and Ph.D. (1988) in the same discipline at Syracuse University. After spending four years at General Electric Company, Dr. Plumb returned to higher education as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Syracuse, and then as an Assistant Visiting Professor. In 1989, Dr. Plumb was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas, and he spent almost 10 years teaching and eventually acting as director of the Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Kansas’ Center for Research. Dr. Plumb then returned east as Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the State University of New York at Binghamton from 1998 to 2005.

Since 2005, Dr. Plumb has served as both a professor and higher education administrator at several universities across the country, including as Dean of the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California (2005 to 2014); Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (2014 to 2021); and President and Chief Executive Officer at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, California (2021 to 2023).

Press contact: Associate Director of Public Relations Elizabeth Murray,, 802-654-2588.

Follow us on social.