Meet President Margaret L. Drugovich
Margaret L. Drugovich, DM, took office as the tenth president of Hartwick College on July 1, 2008.
An advocate of study in the liberal arts that is enhanced by practice and experience, Dr. Drugovich is dedicated to presenting students with an expansive, flexible, and practical education that will prepare them well for futures characterized by accelerated change and innovation. She believes that an experience-enhanced liberal arts education is a powerful way to prepare for what she has termed the inevitable unknown.
President Drugovich is leading the College at a time of change in higher education. With national attention on access and affordability, she focuses the institution on the lasting value of the student experience. Highlights of her tenure to date include the introduction of the Three Year Degree Program that saves families a full year’s cost of attendance, a major fundraising campaign with a primary objective of increased support for endowed scholarships, strategic planning that captures the community’s sense of a sustainable vision for the College’s future, the introduction of innovative programs that leverage the College’s intellectual capacity to enhance the region’s economic development, and campus facilities improvements that address student interests while preserving the aesthetic beauty of the Hartwick campus.
Inspired by Hartwick students, President Drugovich frequently hosts small groups of students for dinner in her home; joins them for impromptu talks over lunch in The Commons; and attends their competitions, presentations, and performances.
Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich started planning a course for the College’s long-term future as soon as she was named President of Hartwick College. The Board of Trustees approved her Organizing Principle and Strategic Framework in 2008, around which institutional goals have been crafted. The OPSF anchors cross-institutional operational decision-making on this stated goal: We will be the best at melding a liberal arts education with experiential learning.
Subsequent strategic initiatives have included the Master Facilities Planning effort, which set the priorities for current campus improvements and will guide the College’s physical development over the next 25 years; the Pine Lake Task Force, whose work has set the agenda for major investments in the College’s environmental campus; College planning initiatives including the Retention Advisory Committee, the College-wide Diversity Committee, and the College-wide Assessment Committee; and the work of the Leadership Group, the cross-college planning group charge with articulating a sustainable vision for Hartwick College.
Fundraising and Fiscal Responsibility
Since Dr. Drugovich took office in 2008, Hartwick College has invested (or is in the process of investing) more than $43 million in campus improvements. Projects range from fitness centers and laboratory equipment to lighting systems, locker rooms, performance space improvements, and gathering spaces. Sources of funding include annual budget savings, charitable gifts, budgeted operating capita, and capital financing.
In 2010, the Board approved the President’s recommendation to launch a comprehensive fundraising campaign. After a Quiet Phase during which 60% of The Campaign goal was raised, the public announcement of The Campaign was made in 2013. To date, more than 90% of the $32 million goal has been raised with President Drugovich as the chief fundraiser working with individuals, foundations, and governmental agencies. The title – The Campaign for Hartwick Students: It’s Personal – reflects the priorities of the College and its president. For the first time in Hartwick’s history, endowment for scholarships is the top campaign fundraising priority. Other objectives include endowed funds for J Term study abroad, renovations to campus facilities related to student’s academic and co-curricular experiences, and annual support and sustainability projects which significantly reduce the campus’ carbon footprint.
Operating within the College’s means is a priority for President Drugovich and her administration has closed every fiscal year with a balanced budget. She also instituted a return to the practice of making policy-defined annual draws from the endowment to fund operations. Such sound fiscal management resulted in a rare upgrade in the credit rating advice offered to investors by Moody’s and, later, Standard & Poor’s. Hartwick received another credit rating increase in anticipation of a successful April 2015 bond offering that will fund campus improvements and enable the College to refinance its long-term debt at very favorable interest rates.
The President and vice presidents are currently executing the Board-approved process for a strategic resource allocation review of academic programs and administrative support services.
Hartwick’s Three Year Degree Program is one of the milestones of President Drugovich’s tenure, both because of the way the option is structured and the recognition the initiative has brought the College. Partnering with faculty leaders in 2009, the President developed a program that enables students to complete their Hartwick education in three years without summer or online study while still taking full advantage of their college experience. The result: families save a full year of college tuition while bright and ambitious students advance their education and their careers ahead of schedule. President Drugovich has positioned the Three Year Degree option to place Hartwick at the forefront of the national debate about the cost of higher education.
Approval for the College’s first master’s degree program is pending with the New York State Department of Education. The degree in Translational Biomedical Research Management will position Hartwick graduates to meet a growing need for individuals who can apply concepts and methods of epidemiology, biostatistics, informatics, molecular genetics, and personalized medicine to the practice of translational biomedical research; lead clinical trial project teams in the areas of quality, finance, legal, and regulatory compliance; and work effectively with specialized interdisciplinary teams in the biomedical field.
President Drugovich believes in the power of leveraging the College’s intellectual resources to strengthen the community. Hartwick’s new Center Craft Food and Beverage will offer testing, education, and advice to support the growing craft food and beverage business in upstate New York, leveraging the College’s significant ability to educate for the benefit of local business while securing research and internship opportunities for Hartwick students. Dr. Drugovich also secured the designation of Hartwick College as a START-Up NY site, affording opportunities for partnership with private enterprise to the benefit of the College and local community. In addition, Hartwick recently received a Fair Trade campus designation.
The President has instituted external reviews of administrative departments on a five-year schedule to maximize performance, improve effectiveness and efficiency, and ensure the implementation of best practices. Through the oversight of the Provost, she assures a regular schedule of external review of academic departments.
During Dr. Drugovich’s tenure, the College has improved human resource support through the implementation of annual performance reviews, 360 evaluations, mandatory sexual harassment training, and monthly new employee orientations, among other initiatives. The College now has its first compliance coordinator position responsible for Title IX to support the College community in critical areas while complying with a growing number of state, local, and federal regulations.
President Drugovich ensures that tight fiscal management facilitates investments in key areas. For example, she supported establishing the first senior administrative position to oversee assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness, expanded staffing for internships to support students in their pursuit of professional opportunities, increased student learning support resources and the establishment of The Center for Student Success, and expanded funding for students’ international experiences and faculty development of international study experiences. Further, President Drugovich has supported increasing the number of faculty in high-demand areas of study, including the sciences and nursing, and overall has increased the number of full time Hartwick faculty to the highest levels in over a decade.
A voting member of the College’s Board of Trustees, President Drugovich has worked with the trustees to strengthen Board governance by encouraging the adoption of best practices. Insightful and experienced Board members have been recruited from across the country and from a wide range of professions. The result is a strong, committed, and effective governing body well prepared to lead Hartwick College into the future.
Before becoming President of Hartwick College in 2008, Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich served in various senior administrative and research roles in higher education.
At Ohio Wesleyan University, Dr. Drugovich was vice president of enrollment management and strategic communications, responsible for all new student recruitment and admission efforts, the university-wide financial aid program, and an integrated university-wide communications program. Her new student strategic recruitment plan yielded a consistently larger new class of higher quality at a lower tuition discount rate that represented greater ethnic and geographic diversity.
At Bryant University, Dr. Drugovich served as dean of admission and financial aid and the chief undergraduate enrollment officer; executive assistant to the president serving as principal liaison between the president’s office and external and campus-based constituents; and as associate director for institutional research responsible for primary constituent research and secondary data analysis.
At Brown University, Dr. Drugovich served as a senior project coordinator at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research where she managed Health Care Finance Administration-sponsored long term care research projects.
Boards And Service
President Drugovich advances Hartwick College’s reputation nationally through her service with organizations at the center of higher education policy and practice.
She completed service on the U.S. Senate Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education (2013-15), a bi-partisan group that reviewed the costs and burdens of higher education regulations. Her participation on the task force was informed by Hartwick’s leadership in measuring the cost of compliance with government legislation and other regulations with the publishing of the first comprehensive study of compliance related costs in 2012. She currently serves as Chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Committee on Accountability.
Dr. Drugovich is a member of the Steering Committee of The Future of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges (2014-15). Formed by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and funded by the Lumina Foundation, the group is charged with identifying fresh approaches to higher education and defining new business models. Dr. Drugovich also serves on the American Council on Education (ACE) Inclusive Excellence Group Women’s Network Executive Council and serves as the Presidential Sponsor to the NYS ACE Women’s Network. She is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.
President Drugovich is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Chancellors/Presidents Advisory Group (2015-17) and is the chair of the President’s Council of the Empire Eight Athletic Conference. Hartwick is among a small group of colleges nationwide to sponsor both Division III and Division I teams.
Volunteering to serve the accrediting process of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Drugovich was team chair of the reaccreditation visits of Lycoming College (2010-11) and Mount Aloyisius College (2014-15).
President Drugovich is frequently invited to address professional organizations on issues ranging from regulatory compliance to women in leadership. Recent speaking engagements include:
- AGB 2015 National Conference on Trusteeship. Phoenix, AZ. April 19, 2015. The True Cost of Compliance.
- ACE Women’s Network State Coordinator’s Leadership Conference. Promises to Keep: Inspiring the Next Generation of Women Leaders. Washington, D.C.; March 14, 2015. Presidential panel: Insights from our Journey to the Presidency.
- ACE Women’s Network Mid-Atlantic Multistate Conference. New York Institute of Technology, New York, NY; November 14, 2014. Panel presentation: Empowering Women in Higher Education: Understanding trends and opportunities for leadership.
- Connecticut ACE Women’s Network Spring 2014 Conference. Fairfield, CT; April 11, 2014. Keynote Address: A Call to Action: Affordability, Accessibility, Accountability, Accession and Accreditation.
- Council on Government Relations. Washington, D.C.; February 27, 2014. Panel presentation: Addressing Regulatory Burden: Investigators and Institutions.
- Council of Independent Colleges 2014 President’s Institute. Marco Island, FL; January 5, 2014. Presentation: Compliance with Government Regulation: Counting the Burden and Containing the Cost.
- NAICU Annual Meeting. National meeting of State Executives of Independent Higher Education. Washington, D.C.; February 4, 2013. Presentation: A Report on the Cost of Compliance at Hartwick College.
- AAC&U Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA; January 23, 2013. Panel presentation: Successful and Inclusive Leadership in the Academy.
- The Council on Independent Colleges, 2012 President’s Institute. Marco Island, Florida; January 5, 2012. Presentation: Crisis Management.
Hartwick President Margaret L. Drugovich earned a Doctor of Management degree from Weatherhead School of Management at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, where she also served as a Fellow of the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Her doctoral research focused on transformational leadership and organizational change in highly legitimized environments.
Dr. Drugovich received her master’s degree in medical sociology from Brown University in Providence, RI, and a Bachelor of Arts in experimental psychology from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. She was honored by Albertus Magnus in 2015 as the College’s Outstanding Alumna.
President Drugovich and her partner, Elizabeth Steele, are the parents of two children. Beth has built a career leading higher education marketing and fundraising programs and is currently the editor of The Wick magazine and director of Hartwick’s advancement communications. Their daughter is a 2012 graduate of Hartwick College who majored in sociology with a minor in biology. After a two-year fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, she is now enrolled in a MSPH-PhD program in epidemiology. Their son is a college freshman studying psychology.
President Drugovich is a native of northeast Ohio. The first in her family to attend college, President Drugovich and her partner have endowed a scholarship at Hartwick in the name of her parents; it is designated for the support of first-generation Hartwick College students.