President Susan Rundell Singer

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Susan Rundell Singer was named St. Olaf College’s 12th president following a unanimous vote by the Board of Regents. She took office on June 1, 2023, succeeding David R. Anderson ’74, who retired after having led the college since 2006.

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An experienced leader in higher education who has led national efforts to advance undergraduate teaching and learning, Rundell Singer joined St. Olaf after serving as vice president for academic affairs and provost at Rollins College. She previously led the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was the Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of Biology at Carleton College, where she directed the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching.

Recruited to NSF, Rundell Singer was charged with implementing holistic, evidence-informed approaches to increase persistence and success of all undergraduates. She led 14 federal agencies in achieving the undergraduate goals of the first Federal STEM Education 5-year Strategic Plan, including producing one million more STEM graduates by 2018.

Rundell Singer’s scholarship focuses on partnerships and networks of organizations collaboratively advancing undergraduate STEM education, emphasizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Equitable, excellent undergraduate education is a top focus in her leadership at St. Olaf and has been a signature element of her successes throughout her career.

Her disciplinary expertise in plant biology fuels her passion for sustainability. As part of an NSF-funded, national network on advancing education through campus and community farms, she is an advocate for experiential learning.

Rundell Singer is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, and a recipient of the American Society of Plant Biology teaching award and Botanical Society of America Charles Bessey Award. She is a past chair of AAAS’ Education Section. She is an Association of American Universities Senior Scholar, chairs the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Board on Science Education, and serves on the Board on Life Sciences and the Roundtable on Systematic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education. She chaired several NASEM studies, including Discipline-Based Education Research. Rundell Singer earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.