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Dr Sarah C Mangelsdorf is President of the University of Rochester and G Robert Witmer Jr University Professor.


Sarah C Mangelsdorf, PhD

President, G Robert Witmer Jr University Professor

University of Rochester

University of Rochester President Sarah C Mangelsdorf is an experienced academic known for her work on issues of academic quality, educational access, and diversity and inclusion at some of the nation’s leading public and private institutions.

A collaborative leader who seeks to learn and grow with the Rochester community, President Mangelsdorf has worked with staff and community leaders to elevate the University’s status as a great place to work. She has raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour, reorganized human relations, elevated HR oversight into the University’s senior leadership, and adeptly navigated the coronavirus pandemic.

Since arriving in July 2019, she has increased the university’s investment and growth in research and clinical enterprises, returned the university to its traditional university-wide commencement for the first time in 30 years, recognized Juneteenth as an official university holiday, and led the development of the university’s new strategic plan, entitled Boundless Possibility, to help define the University of Rochester as a global research university of the future.

In 2020, she was selected as a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was also recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota.

President Mangelsdorf has been co-chair of the American Association of Universities Advisory Board on Racial Equity in Higher Education since 2020 and serves on a select McKinsey & Company taskforce on the future of higher education.

Academic career

President Mangelsdorf is a professor of psychology who served as provost at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to Rochester. Her responsibilities included oversight of all academic programs and budget planning for 12 schools and colleges, including Education, Business, Engineering, and Graduate Studies, as well as the Schools of Medicine and Public Health and of Nursing, which are affiliated with UW Health, the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

President Mangelsdorf also served as dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University before becoming provost at Wisconsin in 2014. She began her academic career at the University of Michigan and in 1991 moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she later was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Read moreopens in new tab/window