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ACM President Sonya Malunda to Step Down at End of 2023

ACM President Sonya Malunda to Step Down at End of 2023 June 1, 2023

Sonya Malunda has announced her intention to step down as President of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest at the end of the calendar year, December 31, 2023. In notifying the ACM Board of Directors, Malunda said she plans to launch a consulting practice in 2024. The Board will conduct a national search for Malunda’s successor.

“My fellow Presidents and I extend our gratitude to Sonya for her service to the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and all that she has achieved as President,” said Clarence Wyatt, President of Monmouth College and Chair of ACM’s Board of Directors. “In Sonya’s time, she has helped ACM attain greater strategic focus and energy, increased collaboration, driven new strategic partnerships, and established a solid foundation for the ACM’s future. I am thankful for all she has done for our institutions, especially for our students, faculty, and staff.”

Message from ACM President Sonya Malunda
Sonya Malunda

“It has been an honor to serve the 14 member institutions of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest as President and work with such a committed, talented, and passionate Board of Directors, Advisory Board of Deans, consortium staff, and community across our campuses. Throughout my career, I have most valued the relationships and partnerships I’ve been fortunate to make, and I know I will carry the ones I’ve developed at ACM long into the future,” said Malunda. “I am proud of what we have accomplished on behalf of the faculty, students, and staff, and grateful for the opportunity to support and lift up the power of a liberal arts education at these great institutions.”

As the eighth president of the ACM, Malunda led a transformational period in the consortium’s 65-year history. She launched a new strategic plan for the consortium, expanded strategic collaborations with external organizations to advance student learning and development, increased professional development programming for faculty and staff, and secured multi-year grants from major foundations for faculty and staff development.

Under Malunda’s tenure, ACM forged new collaborations with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Common Purpose, and Chicago’s Field Museum. With the Great Lakes Colleges Association, ACM founded the Midwest College Showcase to provide counselors, parents, and students across the US with opportunities to explore and learn more about small Midwest private residential colleges. And the ACM secured new grants from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Mellon Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.

New initiatives created under Malunda’s leadership include a Student Leadership Summit for ACM students, an Academic Leadership Fellows Program for emerging faculty, and robust programming and professional development in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also significantly increased the consortium’s operational efficiency.

“Over the last six years, Sonya’s transformative leadership has been instrumental in the development of the ACM. Her collaborative approach and dedication to our collective mission have been nothing short of inspirational,” said Davis SchneidermanKrebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lake Forest College and Chair of the ACM Advisory Board of Deans. “Sonya’s significant accomplishments and contributions to the ACM will be felt for many years to come. We wish her the very best for her future endeavors.”

Malunda’s passion for intellectual challenge and collaborative engagement was nurtured as an economics major at Spelman College, and she earned a master of business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She is also a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and a past fellow in the Harvard University program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. Before joining ACM, she spent nearly 20 years leading civic engagement initiatives at the University of Chicago. She previously held leadership roles in city government and commercial banking.

About the Associated Colleges of the Midwest

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest is an incubator and catalyst for programming that advances the academic and professional success of faculty, students, and staff at its 14 liberal arts member campuses. The member colleges launched the ACM in 1958, building on a long-established tradition of athletic competition dating back to the 1920s. Today, the ACM enriches residential liberal arts education and strengthens its members through initiatives that can be done more effectively in collaboration than by any single college alone. By cultivating partnerships, attracting funding, building communities of practice, and creating a space to experiment and innovate, ACM multiplies the power of its vital member institutions as a force for good in the world.

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