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College appoints Elizabeth Frombgen, Ph.D., new Vice President for Academic Affairs


College appoints Elizabeth Frombgen, Ph.D., new Vice President for Academic Affairs

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, announces the appointment of Elizabeth Frombgen, Ph.D., as its new Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. Frombgen follows Lynn Franken, Ph.D., who is retiring at the end of this academic year.

A creative and entrepreneurial educator known for her broad understanding of the liberal arts college landscape and a leadership style built on deep collaboration and open communication, Frombgen brings more than 15 years of faculty and leadership experience to her role at Thiel College.

As Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Hastings College, she has made significant contributions through accreditation work, the institution’s First Year Experience program, and fundraising and grant writing endeavors. During her 16 years at Hastings, she has also served as department chair and been active in faculty governance. 

“Liz joins us at a very exciting time in Thiel’s history. Having just completed our sesquicentennial year we are focused on a new strategic plan that emphasizes growth and student success,” Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., said. “Liz’s proven track record of institutional leadership, faculty and student development, donor relations, and curricular development will greatly benefit Thiel. We are excited to have her as our new VPAA.”

As Thiel’s new Vice President for Academic Affairs and as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Frombgen’s responsibilities will extend to strategic leadership for all aspects of the academic program, faculty recruitment and development, and financial and facilities planning, which includes the completion of a new 7,850-square-foot “Science Connector.”

Frombgen earned her undergraduate degree at Western Washington University and completed master’s and doctoral programs at Purdue University.

Throughout her career, she has dedicated her time and talents to numerous college and community service initiatives which include serving as a member of the Nebraska Food Cooperative Board and as vice president of the Hastings College chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Her family includes her husband, Douglas Kinnear, Ph.D., her stepdaughter, Lana, and her three Jack Russell Terriers—Jackie, Eddy, and Suzy. When she is not wrangling Jack Russell terriers, she also enjoys cooking, cheesemaking, gardening, spending time outdoors and reading.

“There are so many life-changing benefits that a liberal arts college like Thiel can provide to today’s college student,” Frombgen said. “This is an important time in Thiel’s history, and I’m excited that I get to be involved in shaping its future.”

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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