Neiduski, who has served as dean of Elon’s School of Health Sciences since 2017, will become the first female president of the college in Waverly, Iowa.
Rebecca Neiduski, the dean of Elon’s School of Health Sciences, has been named president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Neiduski will become the 18th president of the college, and its first female president, on July 1, 2022.
Neiduski has served as dean and professor of health sciences since June 2017 when she joined Elon from Concordia University Wisconsin. At Concordia, Neiduski was chair of the Occupational Therapy Department, and she came to Elon with a wealth of clinical, academic and administrative experience.
“Dr. Neiduski rose to the top of a very competitive group of candidates, and we are thrilled her path has led her to Wartburg,” said Mike McCoy, chair of the Wartburg Board of Regents. “We all were impressed by her ability to embrace Wartburg’s mission and vision and be a relationship builder. She has the depth of experience and the leadership ability to lead Wartburg into the future.”
Neiduski is the first female president in the institution’s 170-year history. She was unanimously recommended to the Board of Regents by the 14-person search committee, which included faculty, staff, student and board representation.
Neiduski, who grew up in Chicago, earned a bachelor’s degree in movement and sport science from Purdue University and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis. She later earned a doctorate in education from St. Louis University.
As dean, Neiduski oversees the Department of Physical Therapy Education, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, the Department of Nursing, the Anatomical Gift Program and the Standardized Patient Program. The dean is responsible for providing intellectual and administrative leadership for the School of Health Sciences while strengthening Elon’s engaged, active and experiential education offerings within a rigorous and challenging academic environment.
At Elon, Neiduski has led efforts to establish the first undergraduate majors in the School of Health Sciences and an accelerated pathways program that dovetails undergraduate and graduate curricula and allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in less time.
In addition to her administrative tasks, Neiduski advanced diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the School of Health Sciences by empowering the establishment of committees responsible for engaging students, faculty and staff in monthly educational events on topics ranging from building an inclusive syllabus to the impact of implicit bias in health care. She also championed efforts to change hiring and admissions practices that successfully increased the diversity of applicant pools, admitted students and hired faculty and staff.
As part of Elon’s leadership team, Neiduski helped execute Boldly Elon, his most recent strategic plan, and served as co-chair of one of the plan’s working groups. She also guided the creation of the “School of Health Sciences Five-Year Strategic Plan,” which led to the establishment and initial accreditation of the Department of Nursing during the pandemic.
Neiduski also sits on the board of directors for the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation, where she has provided leadership and substantive contributions through education; provision of specialized surgery and therapy; and community outreach.
Neiduski will continue in her current position at Elon through the spring semester before joining Wartburg. During the next several months Provost Aswani Volety will work to ensure a strong leadership transition with Neiduski’s departure.