Grand Valley State University has named its next president. Philomena Mantella will be the fifth president to serve the university in its nearly 60-year history. And she’ll be the first woman in that role.
Mantella comes to GVSU from Northeastern University in Boston, where she’s the senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Lifelong Learning Network.
But she’s not a stranger to Michigan. She earned her PhD at Michigan State University and worked at Ferris State early in her career.
She says she’s excited to get started at GVSU to continue the school’s growth.
“More than ever this nation needs breakout universities who leverage experiences to better not just themselves but the lives of the communities and learners they serve,” she said at a GVSU board meeting in Allendale this morning. “Grand Valley State University has the triple threat. One, it fulfills its mission as a true economic development driver. Two, it’s shaped a high-quality community of learning for the 21st century. And three, it’s become a model for creating and accessing pathways to prosperity – all situated in a state who’s star is on the rise.”
Mantella says she also looks forward to working with leaders of other universities in the state, even though they may be competitors on some fronts.
“But I think for the good of the state and the good of the nation, we need to have a collaboration,” she says. “And I would offer that’s not just the universities. I’m excited about working with K-12 and I’m excited about working at a lot of different levels over the lifespan of learning.”
Mantella will take over as president of GVSU effective July 1 of this year, after the current president, Thomas Haas, retires. Mantella has been appointed to a five-year term, with a salary of $480,000 in her first year.