REDLANDS, Calif. — After opening its campus more than a century ago, the University of Redlands has welcomed its first female president.
Krista Newkirk is the 12th university president since the school opened in 1907. Her vision for the school is all about inclusion.
What You Need To Know
- Krista Newkirk is the 12th president of the University of Redlands since it opened in 1907
- Newkirk said her vision for the school is all about inclusion
- One of Newkirk's priorities is to listen, and students say she has been
- She takes the helm at a time when thousands of women have had to forgo higher education or leave jobs due to the pandemic
"I really think it's taking the strengths that are here and expanding upon those to create additional opportunities," Newkirk said. "It's living into our new designation as a Hispanic-serving institution, and making sure that every student is successful when they come to Redlands."
Newkirk added that one of her priorities is to listen, and students said she has been. Members of the Associated Students of the University of Redlands have already been at the table with her. ASUR president and senior Chloe Levine said it's about time to have a woman in the role.
"We would like to see more women in leadership, and I think this is one really good first step into seeing more diversity in our faculty and staff on campus, and especially in administration," Levine said. "It's really important that we have new, fresh perspectives."
Much of Newkirk's future in her new office will be informed by her past. She last served as president of Converse University in South Carolina, which has a women's college. Newkirk, a lawyer, was also editor-in-chief of the William and Mary Law Journal while in law school.
"Equity opportunities for women has long been a focus for me," she said.
Newkirk takes the helm at a time when thousands of women have had to forgo higher education or leave jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and she wants to address that.
"Looking at some of the opportunities we have with our continuing studies programs for women who are at home, this might be an opportunity for them to take on a new certificate program in an area that really interests them," she said.
Newkirk is really interested in serving students and sees being the first female president as an opportunity to grow other leaders.
"It creates a sense of responsibility, I think, to really heighten the mentorship and the connections that I have with the community so that other people can see themselves in roles like this in the future," she said.
To increase access to higher education, the university has started the Redlands Promise this fall. All admitted students who have a 3.5 GPA will receive a tuition cost of $22,000 or less.