Starting early December, Castleton University’s new president Karen Scolforo will finally take office. And she’s excited.
At her current school, she followed a 43-year family reign of presidents. She’s no stranger to stepping in after long-term leadership. After all, President Dave Wolk has been at CU for 17 years now.
“I am confident she is going to be a great president, building on the strong foundation put in place by Dave Wolk,” said Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of Vermont State Colleges.
Scolforo, in a recent phone interview, said she believes she’ll be able to fall into the Castleton community seamlessly and is a big fan of collaborative leadership.
“I really appreciate the family-based atmosphere, the relationship-based teaching and learning models that showed up under Dave Wolk’s legacy,” Scolforo said. “I also really love the student access to extracurriculars, athletics and service.”
According to Spaulding, these ideas aren’t the only reason why Scolforo was the chosen candidate.
“It was the complete package,” he said. “Her lifetime and higher education experiences, her genuine enthusiasm for Castleton, Rutland, and Vermont, her commitment to student success, her unbridled energy, collaborative style, and the overwhelming support shown by every group surveyed.”
Scolforo made sure to mention that she appreciates all of the hard work that Wolk has put in to make Castleton what it is today, and that drastic things won’t change right off the bat.
“I see an alignment in terms of leadership approach too (between her and Wolk), so I think that this community will hopefully feel comfortable with a more seamless transition because my leadership approach is very similar,” Scolforo said.
According to Scolforo, Vermont has been where she saw her final destination in life. She is from New England originally and raised kids here. When she heard about the opening at Castleton, she thought this was her chance.
When she learned more about Castleton and how caring and thoughtful the campus is, she said she “felt like they were calling out to me.”
“I wasn’t even sure I was going to apply because I wasn’t planning on leaving Central Penn,” Scolforo said. “I don’t think I applied until right at the end because if I applied I needed to be ready to go, because I knew I was going to want to go.”
Scolforo’s selection was also made despite an anonymous letter received by The Spartan and Spaulding detailing why she is unfit to be Caslteton’s president
“Although the sender declined to identify him or herself, and our own process had shown Dr. Scolforo to be the right choice, we decided to check out the assertions carefully,” Spaulding said.