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A Message from Board Chair Winnie Lerner: New Chapter in SNHU Leadership

Dear SNHU Community,

I am writing today with an update on the future of SNHU leadership. Following an exceptional 20 years as President of Southern New Hampshire University, Dr. Paul LeBlanc will step down from his role as President and CEO of SNHU on June 30, 2024. The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Lisa Marsh Ryerson as President for a two-year term, effective July 1, 2024.

For the past two decades, Paul has been a transformational leader at SNHU and in the higher education community. Under Paul’s leadership, SNHU grew from 2,500 students to over 225,000 learners, making SNHU the largest provider of higher education in the country; he helped put a small regional college in southern New Hampshire on the map as one of the most innovative universities in the country; and, he made SNHU one of the top employers nationwide. Most importantly, he established and delivered on our core mission to transform the lives of our students by offering a high-quality, affordable, accessible education that meets their unique needs.

We can’t do justice to Paul’s myriad accomplishments in this note, so will simply say that the Board is incredibly thankful to Paul for his leadership, innovative ideas, and willingness to challenge the status quo to help more students across the world gain access to higher education. Paul’s legacy and his incalculable influence on this institution will endure for generations to come, and we are grateful for his deep commitment to SNHU and our learners.

While Paul will be deeply missed by the SNHU community and beyond, we are confident in the next phase of SNHU’s leadership. Lisa Marsh Ryerson has significant experience in higher education and nonprofit management, stemming from her time as President and CEO of Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. for 18 years, President of the AARP foundation, and a member of the SNHU Board of Trustees for five years before assuming the Provost role at SNHU in 2022.

In addition to SNHU, she has served on the boards of numerous higher education and nonprofit organizations including the Council of Independent Colleges and the Congressional Hunger Center. She currently serves on the board of Shriver Center on Poverty Law, The National Women’s History Museum, and The Generosity Commission. Lisa is a dynamic, exceptionally talented, and dedicated leader and will transition seamlessly into the role of President. She will work alongside Paul over the next six months as she ascends into the new role.

As we look ahead to new leadership at SNHU, I am proud to say that SNHU continues to thrive and grow – we had record fall term starts for our online graduate and undergraduate programs, our campus programs have been reimagined for today’s learners, and SNHU is still leading the way in higher education and in the communities we serve. We are privileged to play a small role in the work of this influential and life-changing institution and look forward to this next chapter in SNHU’s evolution.

Please join me in thanking Paul and welcoming Lisa to her new role.

Winnie Lerner and the SNHU Board of Trustees

About Southern New Hampshire University

Two students walking in front of Monadnock Hall

SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.