Vice President Kirk Kolenbrander to leave for SNHU

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Vice President Kirk Kolenbrander is leaving MIT after 29 years.
Courtesy of Allegra Boverman

Vice President Kirk Kolenbrander is planning to leave the Institute in March after 29 years at MIT. His last day will be March 2. He will subsequently be serving as the executive vice president for the College of Engineering, Technology, and Aeronautics at the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

Kolenbrander’s started at MIT as an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 1990. During his career as a faculty member, he won the MIT Baker Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the MIT Smith Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Student Life.

In 1995, Kolenbrander helped create the IAP program MIT LeaderShape, a leadership program that helps students “discern their leadership style” and offers them feedback on vision statements about changing the world, according to the program application portal.

After his time as a faculty member, Kolenbrander also served three MIT Presidents since 1998, having acted as special assistant to Chuck Vest, senior advisor and then vice president to Susan Hockfield, and most recently, vice president to current President L. Rafael Reif.

As part of MIT’s leadership team, Kolenbrander played a key role in MIT’s Presidential Search Committee that elected Hockfield and then managed searches to assemble her senior team, including appointing Reif as provost.

At SNHU, Kolenbrander will help the year-and-a-half-old college rethink how “engineering education and STEM education can be more effective, more accommodating, and more inviting,” said SNHU President and CEO Paul LeBlanc, according to the Union Leader. LeBlanc also said Kolenbrander’s support in making STEM education accessible to underprivileged communities played a big role in his hiring.