After 152 years, Gustavus Adolphus names first female president


A longtime executive with Medtronic has been named the first female president of Gustavus Adolphus College in the St. Peter institution's 152-year history, the Star Tribune reports.

Rebecca Bergman will succeed Jack Ohle, who is exiting amid controversy after six years in the position.

Bergman, 57, has served on the Gustavus Adolphus Board of Trustees since 2007. With the appointment, she will become the college's 17th president.

“Becky is a proven leader as demonstrated not only by her successful 26 years at Medtronic, but also by her seven years of service on the college’s board of trustees,” Gustavus Adolphus Trustee and Presidential Search Committee Chair Warren Beck said in a statement.

Beck said Bergman's "leadership skills, ability to collaborate and effectively communicate, and knowledge of the college’s strengths and challenges" made her "uniquely qualified" for the position.

Ohle told the college in June of last year that he intended to retire. The Mankato Free Press says the 67-year-old administrator came under criticism from some faculty, students and alumni over his leadership style.

According to the Gustavian Weekly, the pressure began a year ago when the school’s Faculty Senate demanded his resignation.

“We the Faculty Senate, respectfully yet earnestly request that you step down as President of the College at the end of the academic year 2012-2013," the administrative body wrote.

The Business Journal says Bergman has been with Medtronic for 26 years. She is currently the vice president of research, technology and therapy delivery systems for cardiac rhythm disease management for the company.

Bergman will start her new position at Gustavus Adolphus July 1.

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