In the sixty-five years following Northwest’s re-establishment after World War II, Northwest has had six presidents. This is a remarkable story of committed, stable leadership. A decade of service in this role is about the average. I believe it is time for a new leader who can bring fresh vision and vitality to Northwest’s mission.
Almost a decade has passed since the Board of Northwest invited me to serve first as interim president (January 2000) and then to fill the role of president. Some of you know that on July 31, 2011 I will be completing my involvement with Northwest as President. The next few months will be busy, working with the successor the Board will be appointing.
The Board has been working on a succession plan for about a year and the Search Committee will be bringing a recommendation to the Board’s October 2010 meeting. Should the Board accept the recommendation, then the new president will begin serving January 1, 2011. The Board has graciously granted me a sabbatical that will run from January to July 2011. I believe the Board has this process well in hand and the transition of leadership will proceed well. As opportunity allows, I hope to continue contributing to Northwest in a part-time teaching role for the next few years.
So this Fall semester will be a time of transition. I would ask that you pray specifically:
1. that the Board will know the mind of God in their decision in October;
2. that I will be able to finish well, leaving Northwest in a strong position;
3. that Northwest faculty and staff will work through the transition well;
4. that our students and alumni will view the transition process as a model of Christian leadership;
5. that our financial donors will continue to support the mission of Northwest and the new President;
6. that Northwest’s mission will be carried forward even more effectively because of this change.
Over the past year my prayer has been that God would enable me to finish well. You know too many Christian leaders whose leadership roles have ended in failure. So I do covet your prayers in these next months and look forward to God’s special grace and blessing upon the Northwest family in this time of transition.
In particular it is important that your investment in Northwest remain strong. A leader is important in an institution, but the institution is far bigger and more significant than any one person. I believe this is true of Northwest and the critical nature of its leadership development role in the Kingdom.