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Franklin College President Announces Retirement

James G. Moseley 1Dr. James G. Moseley, the 15th president of Franklin College, announced today that he will retire at the end of the next academic year, June 30, 2015.  “When Candace and I came to Franklin College in 2002, we hoped that things would go so well that I would be here as president for 10 years, at which point we would retire.  We are now completing year 12 and looking forward to number 13.  Both personally and professionally, Franklin College has exceeded every expectation we had.  We feel privileged and grateful for these years and for what has truly been the capstone of my career.”

“Under the president’s leadership, Franklin College has realized growth and enrichment, providing an excellent platform for continued success,” said Christine Fields, chair of the board of trustees.  “Enrollment has grown and stabilized with 1,000 students on campus, budgets are balanced, the endowment has recovered from the recession, and interest from prospective students is particularly strong.”

“Franklin students and their experiences are most important to us, and this year we received strong affirmation from the National Survey of Student Engagement,” Fields said.  The 2013 survey indicated that 94 percent of first-year students participated in a “high-impact practice,” such as a service-learning program, undergraduate research with a faculty member or course with a group-learning component.

Equally important, she noted, the internship program is robust and growing with more than 97 percent of all students completing at least one internship experience before graduating.  “These and many other assets created and supported by Dr. Moseley, the faculty, and staff combine to create our ongoing success in producing graduates who are strong candidates for jobs and graduate school,” Fields said.

“Innovative student learning experiences are part of the revamped liberal arts curriculum led by Dr. Moseley,” Fields said.  “We have students reporting at the Statehouse, students studying abroad, students involved in campus projects like our sustainability initiative as well as service-learning experiences.”

“Another hallmark of Dr. Moseley’s tenure has been connectivity, developing relationships with businesses, communities and organizations throughout the region,” Fields said.  “Our relationship with Indianapolis is stronger than ever,” Fields said.  “In addition to Franklin College’s connections through internship placements, Dr. Moseley’s involvement with the Economic Club of Indiana (board and past president), WFYI (board) and NCAA (presidents’ council) has been invaluable to the institution,” she said.

A key campus improvement and expansion was Grizzly Park on 78 acres of acquired farmland adjacent to the campus.  The $5.8 million complex, funded entirely through private donations, includes a track and field complex, softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, practice fields for intramurals, soccer and lacrosse, a picnic pavilion and a walking and running trail. The park also includes an urban forest of trees and plants native to Indiana as well as retention ponds, all of which provide students opportunities for scientific field studies.

“While this project included many improvements for our fitness and athletic programs, we also added amenities to create a wonderful space for the Franklin community,” Moseley explained.  “Together with outstanding coaches, our work to upgrade athletic facilities and programs has contributed to strengthening football, soccer, track and field, tennis and baseball teams as well as women’s softball and lacrosse,” Moseley said.

Other campus improvements include the Von Boll Welcome Center for prospective students and their families and the redesign/expansion of the Napolitan Student Center.  A Victorian house once the President’s Home was renovated and repurposed as the Napolitan Alumni House, serving as a residence for visiting faculty and special college guests.

The campus master plan also calls for the development and construction of a Franklin College science center to complement Central Indiana’s increasing stature as a life sciences region.  “We’ve completed our due diligence and have a good start on the initial financial support.  In the next year, moving the project forward will be my highest priority,” Moseley said.

“Dr. Moseley has been an excellent leader for Franklin, and his commitment to continuity and development during the next 12 months are most appreciated,” Fields said.  The search for a new president will begin promptly with a committee led by two trustees who also are alumni.  “James Due, senior vice president of Northern Trust Bank in Chicago, will chair the committee and Susan Williams, retired president of the Indiana Sports Corp., will serve as vice-chair,” Fields said.  The search committee will include additional trustees, faculty, administration and alumni.  Students, community leaders and friends of the college will be included later in the search process, said Fields.

For more details about programs during his tenure, please see below.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for challenging careers and fulfilling lives through the liberal arts, offering its approximately 1,000 students 36 majors, 39 minors and 11 pre-professional programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu.



Franklin College degrees are, in effect, diplomatic passports to a world of opportunities for young men and women who are well prepared to think independently, lead responsibly and serve with distinction in their professions, their communities and the world. At Franklin College:

  • Journalism students report on the state legislature, producing stories that are distributed through “thestatehousefile.com” and published across the state and nation.
  • Opportunities to study abroad have grown dramatically, with the addition of scholarships and budding relationships with institutions abroad.
  • Service-learning experiences are part of every student’s curriculum, beginning in the first week of enrollment when service projects are integrated into new student orientation.
  • Students are involved in hands-on learning projects that directly impact their campus, surrounding community, the environment and world at large. As one example, students learned how to produce biodiesel fuel from the campus dining hall’s used cooking oil. The biodiesel fuel powers campus lawn mowers.
    • In the last three years, listening to life sciences leaders, Franklin College “reinvented” its curriculum and teaching. “We combine the idea of “learning science by doing science” with the “practical problem solving” of a strong liberal arts education,” stated Moseley. Now in the second year of the new curriculum, FC students perform undergraduate research as freshmen and sophomores so they are more prepared for “hands on” science work.
    • New masters’ degree programs in athletic training and physician assistants (still in development) resulted from Franklin’s outreach with fitness and athletic enterprises, hospitals and health care facilities in Central Indiana.


  • The college’s partnership with the City of Franklin was seen in June 2008 when the campus became the official FEMA center for the community ravaged by a flood.  “It reminded us of an occasion in 1985 when a massive fire on campus resulted in the displacement of 49 percent of our students.  Franklin residents welcomed students into their homes until residence halls were rebuilt on campus.  The fire and the flood exemplify the strong relationship between the city and campus,” Fields recalled.


  • Richardson Chapel also was renovated and significantly improved to better accommodate the variety of activities that take place in the sanctuary throughout the year.  Further, the college received a gift of 32 wooded acres, nearby, to be preserved and used for educational purposes. The Hougham Woods Biological Field Station is a place where faculty and students frequently conduct field studies in the natural sciences. These and other renovations were part of the campus master plan developed under the president’s direction.
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