Lois Kuncl is one very proud mother. Her son, Ralph W. Kuncl, has just been named president of the University of Redlands.
But his mother had no idea he had even applied for the position. He and his wife, Nancy, were visiting the family in Lake Arrowhead last Sunday to celebrate Lois' birthday. After toasting her health and toasting the new home just purchased by Lois' granddaughter Candace Carricaburu and her husband, Ralph Kuncl proposed a third toast for his new position.
"I thought my legs were going to give out," Lois Kuncl said. "Now instead of being 3,000 miles away, he'll be just 30."
Kuncl, a neurology professor who earned his doctorate and medical degrees at the University of Chicago, has most recently served as the provost at the University of Rochester in New York. He had been a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where, his mother said, he became an expert in Lou Gehrig's disease.
Dr. Kuncl served as provost at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania prior to moving to Rochester.
There were 115 applicants for the University of Redlands position, Lois Kuncl said. The search committee had narrowed the pool to 15, then eight. The plan, Lois said, was to further narrow it to three. However, Dr. Kuncl had the unanimous support of the committee at that point; they offered him the position, which he will assume in mid-August.
In a statement published on the University of Redlands website, Dr. Kuncl said, “The challenges our nation faces today require educated and engaged citizens who can make enlightened and responsible choices. This makes our universities more vital and more necessary than ever.
“So it is with great humility that I accept the stewardship of a university so committed to creating the next generation of leaders,” he said.