Office of the President
MaryAnn Baenninger, Ph.D., President of the College of Saint Benedict
Dr. MaryAnn Baenninger became the fourteenth president of the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, MN on August 1, 2004.
The College of Saint Benedict is a national liberal arts college, one of only three Catholic colleges ranked by U.S. News and World Report as top 100 liberal arts institutions, and the highest ranked Catholic college for women in the country. The College has a unique partnership with nearby Saint John's University for men that expands the resources of both institutions, offering more than 60 areas of study and the distinct benefits of two nationally respected Catholic, undergraduate colleges. Since arriving at the College of Saint Benedict, President Baenninger has led an $82 million dollar capital campaign to its conclusion and has overseen the completion of the Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, a major expansion of the college's award-winning Benedicta Arts Center, and the construction of Centennial Commons.
During Dr. Baenninger's time as president, the College has also achieved national recognition for its extensive study abroad programs and has risen dramatically in national rankings. The College of Saint Benedict received the 2012 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Comprehensive Internationalization for excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in practices, structures, philosophies, and policies. Baenninger also received the 2013 William M. Burke Presidential Award for Excellence in Experiential Education, recognizing the college's support of undergraduate research, study abroad opportunities, and other experiential opportunities for women. The College of Saint Benedict has been cited as an "Up-and-Coming" liberal arts institution by U.S. News and World Report, and recognized as a "Best Value" college by Fiske, Barron's, and Kiplinger's.
Dr. Baenninger has devoted nearly her entire career to higher education. She earned her Ph.D. from Temple University, where she also completed her bachelor's degree in psychology, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to leading the College of Saint Benedict, President Baenninger served as a senior staff member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in Philadelphia, PA. In this role she consulted with numerous institutions on obtaining and maintaining their accreditation status. An expert in higher education assessment, Dr. Baenninger edited Student Learning Assessment: Options and Resources and lectured widely on the topic.
Dr. Baenninger served as professor in the department of psychology at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ, Philadelphia University in Philadelphia, PA, and Washington College in Chestertown, MD. As a scholar, she has published extensively on gender and cognition as well as outcomes assessment in higher education. At The College of New Jersey, Dr. Baenninger was very involved in the development of the College's undergraduate research program, including the founding of The College of New Jersey Journal of Student Scholarship. She has conducted many workshops on topics related to undergraduate research and has served as a Councilor and Executive Board member of the Council on Undergraduate Research. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Higher Education.
Dr. Baenninger serves on the Women's College Coalition Board and she is a Trustee at the American University of Sharjah, a US-accredited private comprehensive university in the United Arab Emirates. She is also a member of the Minnesota Public Radio Board of Trustees, a member of the Minnesota Women's Economic Roundtable, and the past chair of the Board of the Minnesota Private College Council.
"I've made the decision that this is the right time for a transition for me and for Saint Ben's," Baenninger said. "We will have concluded our centennial celebration year and a very successful decade for the college.