Welcome to Coe College, a nationally-recognized, selective, private, four-year coeducational liberal arts institution that has provided a superior education for students since 1851.
The commitment that Coe makes is very simple: we guarantee that students who graduate from Coe will be well prepared to go out into the world and to succeed in life. We make this promise because we know that a Coe education develops in each student greatly enhanced abilities in thinking and communicating. We know from having watched generations of extremely successful Coe graduates that the skills they develop here enable them to succeed at the highest levels – not just in making a living, but in making a life.
Students at Coe are confronted with heavy demands and large challenges, but they are supported at every step with individual attention and interest from our faculty and staff. Having met the challenges we place before them, our graduates are prepared to enter society as productive and engaged citizens.
We welcome you to the Coe community and appreciate your visit to our Web site. We also invite you to visit our campus to learn more about our outstanding institution.
James R. Phifer
Biographical sketch of James R. Phifer
President, Coe College
James R. Phifer has served as President of Coe College since 1995, having joined the college in 1985 as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. Dr. Phifer received his bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the field of English history. His research interest centers in law and politics of 17th century England.
Dr. Phifer began his teaching career at Wayne State College, where he also served as the Director of the British Institute. From there, he assumed the position of Dean of Arts and Sciences at the Institute of Technology at the State University of New York (Utica). He has taught in the Honors Program at Coe, and served as an occasional speaker in Coe's public lecture series, Thursday Forum.
Among his professional experiences, Dr. Phifer has served as a Consultant-Evaluator for the North Central Association; as Chair of the Deans' Advisory Board of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest; as Chair of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Presidents' Council; as Chair of the Presidents' Council of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest; and as Chair of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Under his leadership, Coe College has focused on maintaining a quality faculty to provide students with a superior educational experience. In recent years, Coe has significantly enhanced its endowment and embarked on a building program that has nearly doubled the size of the campus, with a focus on new residential, admission, and recreational facilities to enhance the student experience.
Among many community activities, Dr. Phifer has served on the Boards of Directors of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Cedar Rapids Symphony. He is currently on the Board of Bankers Trust, Cedar Rapids. He and his wife, Linnie, have two grown daughters.