Carleton says, ‘Goodbye For Now’ to President Poskanzer

Carleton College’s 11th president will depart for a year-long sabbatical and return to campus in the fall of 2022 as professor of political science.

19 July 2021 Posted In:
Steve Poskanzer, center, at a reception held in his honor.

President Steve Poskanzer walks out of his office in Laird Hall for the last time this month. Carleton College’s 11th president will depart for a year-long sabbatical and return to campus in the fall of 2022 as professor of political science.

During Poskanzer’s 11-year tenure as president, the College developed and implemented a comprehensive set of strategic plans that set Carleton’s academic and operational priorities; increased the racial, geographic and socioeconomic diversity of the student body; increased the amount of financial aid provided to low- and middle-income students; gave new and focused attention to career preparation for liberal arts students; and completed the largest and most successful fundraising campaign in the College’s history. Under his leadership, Carleton maintained its longstanding record of academic excellence and completed several critical capital projects, including the new interdisciplinary science complex that includes Evelyn M. Anderson Hall; the performance commons addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity; and the complete renovation of Scoville, Laird and Evans Halls. The College also developed its first Climate Action Plan and made great strides toward becoming a carbon neutral campus.

Poskanzer reflected on his presidency for an in-depth interview with the Carleton College Voice this spring, calling the job “the greatest privilege” of his life. 

“This is the best job I’ve ever had and the hardest job I’ve ever had, in a place where my family and I have been the happiest,” he told the Voice. “I am profoundly grateful to Carleton. This community embraced me and gave me the opportunity to do everything I could to steward this remarkable college.”

Poskanzer reception

A gathering of faculty and staff was held in late June to celebrate Poskanzer as he closes his journey as president. He will spend the coming year as a visiting scholar at the University of California at Los Angeles Law School, where his wife, Dr. Jane Nofer Poskanzer, will be affiliated with UCLA’s Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior doing autism research. He looks forward to coming back to Carleton under “the highest title”—that of professor—next fall.