February 12, 2018

Feb. 12, 2018

Dear Colleagues,  

On February 9 and 10, the Board of Regents met on campus. There are several strategic and forward-moving announcements to share from the meeting.  

Strategic Plan
The Board voted to approve the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, thanking the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of Luther College who participated in the development of the plan.

During the Board meeting, Regents reviewed and discussed a list of proposed priority activities that need to begin in year one of the five-year plan. Those proposed priority activities, which were developed by the Action Plan Task Force, the Cabinet and myself, are available on the Strategic Planning website.

Our next steps for the Strategic Plan are to develop engagement opportunities with internal and external audiences as we plan for and launch priority activities that will include discussions at upcoming faculty and staff meetings.

Tenure and promotions
The Board voted to grant tenure to the following faculty members: John Cord, music; Carly Foster, political science; Andrew Last, music; Gregory Patton, management; Sarah Wilder, communications studies.

The following faculty were promoted:
To associate professor (accompanying tenure): John Cord, Andrew Last and Sarah Wilder.
To full professor: Andrea Beckendorf, library and information studies; Steve Holland, economics; Amy Weldon, English.

New Regents
The Board elected two new Regents of Luther College: Shannon Duval ‘95, of Castle Rock, Colorado, and Anjela Shutts ‘93, of Des Moines, Iowa. They will begin their terms at the October 2018 meeting.

Inclusive excellence
Lisa Scott, interim dean of institutional equity and inclusion, presented to the Board of Regents during the Plenary Session. She shared observations from her first 180 days at Luther, including areas of risk and concern. Dean Scott is working with various committees to address many of the issues she identified. Several of the action items identified in the Strategic Plan will also help to address these issues.

Leadership assessment
Board Vice-Chair Wendy Davidson reported that the Board of Regents has been reviewing board governance practices in order to adopt best practices and address the need for consistent and replicable processes.

The Regents Handbook includes a plan for presidential and board assessment using external consultant expertise every 3-6 years. The Board has hired AGB Consulting, part of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, to conduct the third-party assessment in 2018. The last assessment with external consultant expertise was conducted at Luther College in 2001. With this year’s assessment, the Board will begin conducting regular assessments with a process that will be used consistently in the future. 

In mid-April, an AGB consultant will be on campus to conduct interviews with leaders for faculty, staff, and student committees, alumni and parent councils, the Cabinet, the Board and myself. The Board will debrief on outcomes and development opportunities at their May meeting. More detailed information about the process will be communicated in March. 

I look forward to working with all of you as we launch the many innovative and exciting priorities identified in the Strategic Plan. Together, we will ensure a strong and vibrant future for Luther College.

Paula J. Carlson,
President, Luther College