Allegheny College President Hilary Link Announces She Will Leave Post; Board of Trustees Appoints Former Allegheny Provost and Dean Dr. Ron Cole as Interim President

Dr. Hilary Link, President of Allegheny College since 2019, has announced today that she will leave her position for personal and professional considerations.

Dr. Link, recognized as a multidisciplinary scholar, globalist and visionary who has dedicated her career to improving the student experience in higher education, will complete her service at Allegheny after successfully leading the College through the challenges of the pandemic and implementing various strategies to strengthen the College as a top small liberal arts school.

“It has been an honor to serve as Allegheny College’s first female president and to work with everyone across campus and beyond to highlight and elevate the College’s strengths as a supportive and creative community focused on nurturing and educating future generations of interdisciplinary thinkers,” said Allegheny President Hilary Link, Ph.D. “I will forever be grateful for the experience to work with so many wonderful people, and I will continue to root for Allegheny’s success.”

Ron Cole
Dr. Ron Cole

Allegheny College’s Board of Trustees has named former Provost and Dean of the College, Dr. Ron Cole, as President, on an acting basis, effective immediately. He is known for his strategic and insightful leadership and has been recently recognized at the national level by the Council of Independent Colleges for his contributions to the higher education community.

“We are grateful to Dr. Link for her contributions at Allegheny College, and that she will continue to support the College through the coming leadership transition,” said Steven D. Levinsky ‘78, Allegheny College’s Board of Trustees Chair. “The impact of her leadership has been significant particularly given the challenges being placed on higher education at this time, combined with most of her tenure taking place during a global pandemic,” said Mr. Levinsky.

“We wish Dr. Link continued success as we welcome back former Provost Dr. Cole to Allegheny’s campus to now take the helm while focusing on Allegheny’s strategic priorities,” said Mr. Levinsky.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Allegheny College at this time,” said Ron Cole, Ph.D. “My commitment to Allegheny runs deep – first as an undergraduate, then later joining the faculty in 1994, and finally serving as the former Provost and Dean for the past seven years. I look forward to this leadership challenge and wish Dr. Link the very best.”

The Board of Trustees expressed appreciation for Dr. Link’s leadership during the past several years, most especially through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among her most important accomplishments at Allegheny are:

  • Successfully keeping the College open for in-person living and learning during the pandemic, through establishment of the on-campus Allegheny College Health Agency;
  • Establishing a brand-new Class Dean structure within the inaugural Maytum Center for Student Success;
  • Expanding and elevating the College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to develop and sustain DEI initiatives and strategies across campus and in the local community;
  • Positioning the College as relevant to and engaged in issues confronting the nation and the world by addressing globalization, climate action, interdisciplinarity, and women’s leadership in her role as president, leading to an elevated national and international profile for the College, evidenced by the most recent U.S. News Rankings.

Dr. Cole will immediately serve as President of Allegheny College, on an acting basis, with the full authority of the Presidency. The board will consider, in due course, a search process for President.

About Allegheny College 

Allegheny College, founded in 1815, is one of the nation’s oldest and most innovative four-year colleges where multidisciplinary learning breaks the conventional mold. It is one of the few colleges in the United States with a unique requirement to choose both a major and minor for graduation, to provide students with a cross-disciplinary path in the sciences and humanities for educational depth and intellectual growth. Located in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Allegheny College is one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives.” In its 2022 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Allegheny College as one of the country’s top 100 national liberal arts colleges — and one of the top 25 best for undergraduate teaching.