President

Professional experience

Bio

Mark Putnam, president

Mark Putnam is in his sixth year as president of Central College in Pella, Iowa, a private, liberal arts college founded in 1853. Central is known for its academic rigor and strength in global experiential learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), sustainability education, athletics success and tradition, and leadership and service.

Mark is chair of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU) board and is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He is also a member of the executive committee of the Iowa Governor’s STEM advisory council and is on the board of directors of Greater Des Moines Partnership where he also served on the Capital Crossroads 2.0 Steering Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Executive Committee for the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, the Iowa College Foundation board, the Iowa Campus Compact Board, the Greater Des Moines Committee and the higher education working group for the Council on Foreign Relations.

A regular speaker and presenter, Mark is also a talented writer and authors a widely read column, Mark: my words. He has been published in various places including the Chicago Tribune, Inside Higher Ed, Change Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Perspectives, The Des Moines Register, Cedar Rapids Gazette, The Department Chair, The Sport Digest and D3sports.com among others. He has served on multiple panels for the Governor including Future Ready Iowa and other STEM-focused initiatives.

Mark previously served as senior vice president for executive affairs, chief of staff and chief planning officer at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., where he filled a succession of leadership roles. He also held key senior administrative appointments and positions at Connecticut College, Alliance Theological Seminary (N.Y.), Nyack College (N.Y.) and Pace University (N.Y.), and began his career as an admission counselor at Nyack. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Nyack, and Master of Arts, Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees at Teachers College, Columbia University (N.Y.).

He and his wife Tammy live in Pella. Daughter Emma is a 2013 graduate of Central now living in Boston, Mass. Daughter Greta is attending St. Louis University.

About Central College

Founded in 1853, Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, residential four-year liberal arts college known for its academic rigor and strength in global experiential learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), sustainability education, athletics success and tradition, and leadership and service. Central continues to value its long-standing relationship with the Reformed Church in America that began in 1916. The college participates in NCAA Division III athletics and is a member of the Iowa Conference. Central is an active part of the Greater Des Moines region and just two minutes from Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake.