Walden University Appoints Paula Singer as Interim President
Minneapolis—July 2, 2021—Walden University’s Board of Directors is appointing Paula R. Singer, CEO of Walden, as interim president, effective August 1, 2021. Dr. Ward Ulmer informed the board that he is stepping down as president to refocus and dedicate his leadership skills and experience in service to others through a role that aligns with his faith mission and furthers the work he has done with the Walden community in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in new ways.
“We greatly value, respect and admire Dr. Ulmer and his tireless commitment to our university, students, faculty and staff,” says Singer. “We fully support his interest in pursuing this important path forward and know he will always be a tireless and passionate champion – and alumnus – for the Walden community. All of us are grateful to Dr. Ulmer for his service to Walden, and we sincerely wish him the very best in the future.”
“It was an extremely difficult decision, but I’m very grateful for my time at Walden,” says Dr. Ulmer. “Knowing the university is flourishing, has strong leadership in place, and a successful path forward, it gives me the confidence in knowing the timing is right for me to hand off this leadership role.”
Singer will be stepping into the role during an exciting time at Walden, as the university recently received a 10-year accreditation extension by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for Walden's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.* The university also appointed Toni L. Freeman as chair of its Board of Directors earlier this year. As a leading consultant on philanthropy and support for nonprofits, Freeman brings more than 20 years of executive management experience to the role and has served on numerous boards as a member and chair. Freeman succeeded Singer and became the first woman of color to chair Walden’s Board of Directors.
“Walden University has an outstanding legacy of supporting adult learners for more than 50 years, opening up access and opportunity to more than 158,000 alumni who have become change agents in their professions and communities,” says Freeman. “Under Paula Singer’s leadership, the board did a fantastic job in championing Walden’s mission of empowering the greater good through high-quality education. As chair, I’m honored to continue the great work, and I know as a board member and Interim President, Paula will continue to focus on enhancing the end-to-end Walden student experience, expanding access to flexible degree program options, and ensuring student success through graduation and career growth.”
Singer has served in several executive leadership roles since joining Laureate, including chief of learning and innovation, chief network officer, and president and CEO of Laureate Global Products and Services. During her tenure with Laureate, Singer was instrumental in the launch of Torrens University in Australia – the first new institution of higher education approved by the government in over 30 years. She was also among the university’s founding board members. Previously, Singer was the president of Sylvan Education Solutions and formerly held several senior positions at the American Learning Corporation.
She is an advisor for the Board of Directors of Business Volunteers Unlimited and was an advisory board member for the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Singer previously served on the Goucher College Board of Directors, as chair of the National School Board Foundation, and as secretary and executive committee member of the board of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School.
Singer earned a BS in Education from the University of Connecticut, where she was the first education major to be selected for the prestigious University Scholar program. She was recognized as a distinguished alumna of the university's Neag School of Education in 2013. Additionally, Singer holds an advanced certificate as a Montessori teacher from the American Montessori Society.
Walden University’s Chief Academic Officer and Provost, Dr. Sue Subocz, will now have full responsibility for directing and overseeing all of the university’s academic programs. She will lead policy development in student learning, academic programs, teaching and student outcomes. She will also have responsibility for the university’s accreditation and academic operations.
Dr. Subocz has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, serving in several leadership roles with Walden and Laureate Education for more than five years. Dr. Subocz previously served in a number of academic and operational leadership roles at the College of Southern Maryland, including as vice president of academic affairs and chair of the Division of Distance Learning and Faculty Development.
*The Master of Science in Nursing program at Walden University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
About Walden University
More than 50 years ago, Walden University was founded to support adult learners in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and communities. Students from across the U.S. and more than 115 countries are pursuing a certificate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree online at Walden. The university offers more than 100 online degree and certificate programs. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, hlcommission.org. For more information, please visit WaldenU.edu.
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