New University President Sarah Mangelsdorf officially began her role on Monday, according to a university-wide email sent from her office.
In the email, Mangelsdorf said she is beginning her time at UR with a “listening and learning tour” of campus. On Facebook the same day, the University posted photos of Mangelsdorf touring places on campus like Wilson Commons and the Q&I desk. (Mangelsdorf said her months-long “tour” will include visiting places around the country as well.)
“I want to know what you think is special about this place,” Mangelsdorf wrote. “And I also want to know where you think there are opportunities for improvement.”
The email comes a week after another university-wide email from former University President Richard Feldman, who reflected on his time leading the school. He began his email by discussing his work responding to the report from former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White on the accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against Professor T. Florian Jaeger. The widespread outrage in relation to the scandal led to the resignation of then-president Joel Seligman, bringing about Feldman’s interim appointment as president in January of 2018.
The selection of Mangelsdorf as president was announced last December. According to the University, Mangelsdorf is recognized internationally for her early child development psychology research. She comes to the University after being provost at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she worked on a diverse hiring initiative, and a tuition promise for Wisconsin resident students below a certain household adjusted gross income.
Mangelsdorf encouraged all addressed in the email — “Faculty, Students, Staff, Alumni, and Friends of [UR]” — to email her with any “thoughts and ideas.”