Education

Norwich University names Col. Mark Anarumo as its next president

Col. Mark Anarumo speaks after being introduced as the new president of Norwich University in Northfield on Tuesday. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Norwich University trustees have selected the private military college’s next president.

Col. Mark Anarumo will take over at the Northfield school starting June 1, replacing Richard Schneider, who is in his 28th year as Norwich’s leader. He will come to Norwich from Colorado, where he is currently the director at the Center for Character and Leadership Development at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

School officials made the announcement at a ceremony in Norwich’s Mack Hall auditorium on Tuesday morning, where Anarumo took questions from students and the press. He thanked the board in his brief remarks, as well as his predecessor for a job well done.

“President Schneider has done remarkable things for this school. And I’ll tell you that in other work, and advising other universities – other schools are not like Norwich. In any form or fashion,” Anarumo said.

Norwich is in fact in an enviable position compared to many of its New England peers. While four schools in Vermont alone have shuttered outright or merged in the last year, the Northfield school has seen its enrollment hold steady and endowment grow to well over $200 million.

Because of declining birth rates, colleges in the Northeast and Midwest are struggling to fill their freshman classes. But Anarumo noted that while most schools will continue to scramble to fill beds, the country’s elite institutions are expected to see an uptick in demand.

“I would like to position Norwich so that it competes very favorably at a national level,” he said. “I want to enhance the brand. I want everyone in the world to know what Norwich is.”

Richard Schneider, the retiring president of Norwich University, receives a standing ovation on Tuesday at the announcement that Col. Mark Anarumo has been named the university’s new president. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Anarumo beat out three other finalists for the post, who all came to campus in November to take questions during public forums from faculty, staff, and students. Norwich had retained Academic Search, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm, to seek out and vet candidates and ultimately received 48 applications for the post.

According to his CV, Anarumo was deployed in 2018 to Korea, leading five multinational installations in support of a U.N. pressure campaign to force negotiations with North Korea. He has also been a U.S. Air Force vice wing commander in Turkey, and holds degrees from Harvard and Rutgers.

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Private nonprofit colleges like Norwich are required to disclose how much their highest-paid employees made in their federal tax returns, but these documents take well over a year to become public. Schneider made $466,549 during the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to Norwich’s most recent filings, plus $72,632 in additional benefits.

Asked by a reporter Tuesday about his compensation, Anarumo deferred to the school’s media relations office.

“It’s publicly available through whatever portals that are available. I’m sure the strategic office can help direct you to the right place for the specifics of it all,” he said. 

Daphne Larkin, a spokesperson for the college, said in an email later that afternoon that Anarumo’s compensation package “is comparable to that of other presidents of national universities and includes housing in Woodbury Hall, located on the Northfield campus, and a vehicle.” But she declined to provide his salary, or the value of his total compensation package.

Anarumo, who has also taught at several universities – most often on the subject of terrorism and political violence – will also be a tenured faculty member in Norwich’s College of Liberal Arts, Larkin added.

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Bruce S. Post

As a Norwich graduate, I am disappointed. I was rooting for Cedric George, a Norwich graduate who had a very successful career in the Air Force. Rich Schneider has done a lot for Norwich in the many years he has been president — despite his having been a “Coastie.” Yet, I believed now was the time to select a president who rose above the job description, who could be a leader and a true, inspiring command presence. Norwich has not had such a leader since Ernest Harmon, who retired in 1965, just before my freshman year. I will never forget how, when at an all-school assembly, Gen. Harmon was introduced and the three upper classes rose to their feet with a massive cheer. I believe Cedric could have been that kind of leader for old NU.

Paul R Parsons

I was just as surprised as Bruce was. MG George was the Regimental CSM my rook year and “inspiring” doesn’t do him or his personality credit. My first reaction when the announcement was made was “Who?”

 

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