After an extensive 14-month search, Dr. James A. Troha, vice president of Institutional Advancement & University Relations at Heidelberg University, has been named the new president of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.
When he arrives at Juniata in or around June 2013, Troha will become the college’s 12th president. He will replace Thomas Kepple Jr., who plans to retire after 15 years as president.
Juniata Trustee Charles Wise, who co-chaired the presidential search committee, said Troha quickly rose to the top of a strong applicant pool that numbered 70. Troha’s track record in senior leadership elevated him to the top of the field.
“What we saw in Jim is his natural ability to lead a complex organization. That was key for us,” Wise said. During his campus interview, Troha “energized people with his personal style, his degree of openness and his obvious transparency.”
“We just saw a person who has tremendous long-term potential. His fit with the Juniata liberal arts educational mission is right on,” he said.
Troha came to Heidelberg in 2001 as the vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. From 2003-07, he simultaneously served as vice president for enrollment, helping to increase enrollment 19 percent his first year and recruit three of the largest freshman classes in three decades. During the 2008-09 academic year, Troha was appointed interim president. With the arrival of Robert H. Huntington as Heidelberg’s new president in 2009, Troha transitioned to his current role, where he has lead an immensely successful fundraising effort at Heidelberg. In less than four years, he has helped raise more than $38 million in cash and deferred gifts as part of the $50 million Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence. Additionally, he helped secure the largest cash gift in Heidelberg’s history and oversaw record achievements in annual giving, including the first-ever $1 million campaign.
Huntington said the news of Troha’s appointment is bittersweet for the Heidelberg community. “Certainly we wish Jim nothing but the best in his new role. Juniata is in very capable hands,” he said. “Heidelberg will miss Jim’s leadership, experience, creativity and confident approach in building relationships with all of the segments of our community from donors and trustees to faculty, staff and students.
“His leadership the past 12 years has made this institution better and stronger,” Huntington said.
Troha said he looks forward to new opportunities to lead Juniata. “Juniata has great momentum in its favor, and I’m looking forward to working with the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, staff and the larger Juniata community to foster the college’s continued success,” he said. “My family and I are humbled to be asked to be part of the next evolution of Juniata.”
He will, however, miss the professional relationships and friendships he developed at Heidelberg and the Tiffin community. “We have very much enjoyed our time at Heidelberg and in Tiffin. We raised our three children here, so this community will always hold a special place in our hearts,” he said. “This opportunity is a natural step in my career in higher education. Although our new home will be in Pennsylvania, we wish the very best for Heidelberg.”
A native of Cleveland, Troha earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1991 and a master’s degree in counseling in 1993, both from Edinboro University, in Edinboro, Pa. In 2005, he earned his doctorate in educational policy and leadership from the University of Kansas.
He also has been active in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Tiffin YMCA since 2002 and chair from 2009-2011.He is a member and chair-elect of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services. He is a founding member of Tiffin’s Education Community Task Force and served as a board member for the Tiffin-Seneca County United Way from 2004-2008.