Dr. Jann Rudd Weitzel has been an educator for 41 years, 25 of which have been at the higher education level. As president of Cottey, she believes in the mission of the institution, to educate women, to encourage global awareness and involvement, to develop and demonstrate skills of leadership, and to offer students a rigorous academic curriculum coupled with an engaging campus environment.
She began her position as the 12th President of Cottey College on June 15, 2015, and brought with her the skills developed as a college professor, a department chair, a dean, and the chief academic officer and provost. She has overseen the development of many new academic programs and initiatives, including the first 12 degree programs for a new full-service campus in Illinois; a nursing and health sciences program, and a distance learning center that offers multiple degrees and online courses.
In addition, she has worked closely with a study abroad program; in recent years, Dr. Weitzel has traveled to China, Panama, and France representing her institution, and she believes in the value and importance of encouraging international travel for students and diversifying a campus by recruiting students from outside of the United States.
Her leadership on academic honesty has led to invitations from universities and conferences around the country to share her expertise. Outside of the college, Dr. Weitzel is a trained peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission.
A native of Iowa, Dr. Weitzel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Gifted Education from the University of Northern Iowa, and she earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Iowa. She taught middle and high school for 17 years before moving to St. Charles, Missouri, to accept a position at Lindenwood University, where she was employed for twenty years. She and her husband have been married for 40 years and have two daughters and four grandchildren. They have enjoyed being active in the Nevada community and making Cottey College their home.