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President Zorica Pantić Says She Will Retire in 2019 After Overseeing a Transformational Period for the University
February 20, 2018
Zorica Pantić, Ph.D., the first woman to lead Wentworth Institute of Technology, has announced that she will retire next year after a highly productive era marked by historic transformations of the school’s campus and curriculum.
“Wentworth is an amazing institution that delivers a high quality education and strong return on investment for our students, which are increasingly relevant in these changing times,” said Pantić, “I’m pleased with the outstanding leaps forward that the university has made over the past 13 years, and believe this is a good time to begin transitioning to new leadership.”
Pantić, who began her Wentworth presidency in 2005, will continue to lead the university until May 31, 2019. The university’s Board of Trustees has taken steps to begin a transition process that will ensure a smooth transition for the next president.
Major milestones during President Pantić’s tenure include the investment of more than $300 million in facility renovations and expansions and Wentworth’s achievement of university status in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in July 2017, following the addition of graduate degree programs in architecture, civil engineering, construction management, facility management, technology management, and applied computer science. Pantić also oversaw a period of tremendous growth at Wentworth, in both curriculum and the physical plant, including the addition of nine undergraduate programs, seven of which are in engineering, and the groundbreaking of a $55 million, multipurpose academic building for engineering, innovation, and sciences. Set to open in early 2019, it will be the first new academic building on campus in more than 45 years.
“President Pantić has overseen a long period of financial stability, which has enabled our reinvestment in key strategic initiatives and strengthened the school’s academic reputation as a leader in engineering, design, management, and sciences education,” said P. Michael Masterson, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees. “We look forward to finding a chief executive who can build on that momentum and keep Wentworth moving forward as one of the best universities of its kind in the world.”
Under President Pantić’s tenure, the Institute also has sharpened its experiential‐learning focus by implementing EPIC, or externally‐collaborative, project‐based, interdisciplinary culture for learning, and is working across campus to advance innovation and entrepreneurship among students, faculty members and partners from the area’s business community. The school continues to earn recognition annually in national and regional rankings by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been ranked highly by the Brookings Institution, Fortune, and PayScale for return on investment and alumni occupational earnings power.
Born in Serbia, Pantić became the first female engineer to lead a higher‐education institution of technology in the United States. She is the fourth president of Wentworth, following John F. Van Domelen, Edward T. Kirkpatrick, and H. Russell Beatty.
She has served on various boards and professional organizations, including the Board of Directors for the World Association for Co‐operative Education, the American Association for Presidents of Independent Universities and Colleges, the New England Association for Schools and Colleges, the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, the Presidents Council for NCAA Division III, and Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. Pantić was inducted into the Serbian National Academy of Engineering in 2013 and the National Academy of Construction in 2017. In 2014, Pantić received the Person of the Year Award from the New England Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America. In 2017, she was honored with the District 1 Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education as well as the Award for Leadership in Engineering and Land Surveying Education from The Engineering Center Education Trust (TECET). Pantić currently serves on the Boston Women’s Workforce Council and in 2018, was appointed by Governor Baker to serve on the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Strategy Council.
Before joining Wentworth, Pantić was the founding dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio; director of the School of Engineering at San Francisco State University; a Fulbright fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign; and an associate professor at the University of Niš , Serbia. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Niš .
About Wentworth Institute of Technology
Founded in 1904, Wentworth Institute of Technology is a nationally ranked university offering career- focused education through 18 bachelor’s degree programs in areas such as engineering, architecture, computer science, applied mathematics, business management, computer networking, construction management, and design. The Institute also offers master’s degrees in applied computer science, architecture, civil engineering, construction management, facility management, and technology management. A leader in engineering, design, management and sciences education, Wentworth is known for its emphasis on career preparation for students through leading co-op programs and alignment with 21st-century workforce needs and has a reach beyond the Boston region. For more information, please visit https://wit.edu/.
- March 20, 2019—The morning program on March 29 will feature a discussion on leadership with a distinguished panel of current and former female presidents from institutions of higher education.
- March 11, 2019—Mark A. Thompson, who will start at Wentworth on June 1, has been at Quinnipiac University for two decades, taking on ever-broader responsibilities in a series of key leadership positions. He has been executive vice president and provost at Quinnipiac since July 2013 and was instrumental in establishing new engineering and medical schools there.
- February 12, 2019—With the recent completion of the Center for Engineering, Innovation and Sciences, the university will be able to hold this graduation ceremony in the quad on campus.