"In the Luther Loop" 1, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

TO: The Luther College Community

FROM: David L. Tiede, interim President

The press releases have proved to be true. I began in the President's office July 1. Our friends and leaders, President Rick and Mrs. Judy Torgerson, completed their packing in the heat of the 4th of July weekend, and we who are left will carry on. It has been 14 years since Luther College experienced an interim presidency, and the protocols aren't obvious. As we appreciate Luther's dependable strengths and lean into its future, we will figure it out together:  Regents, faculty, staff, students, and constituents.

Robert Vogel, the former president of Wartburg College, is a veteran of multiple interim presidencies. He advised we start by communicating. He regularly circulated an email message called, "Just so you know!” As the transitions of this interim unfold, I plan to send brief communications to keep all of us "In the Luther Loop." I will quit when people say, "Enough!"

This is my first "In the Luther Loop" communication. Mercifully, it has only three points.

  1. It is a privilege, indeed a blessing, to be at Luther College, and I am getting up to speed on the administrative complexities. Joining President Torgerson and the Cabinet in late June for their annual planning made it clear, to quote an astute observer, “The trains run on time at Luther College.” I knew this is a splendid place, but I am amazed at the gifted and committed people I have met in my first two weeks. My wife, Muffy, will join me on July 22 after the Facilities staff have completed some work on the President's house. We look forward to meeting many of you this summer. Be patient as we learn your names.
  2. The summer months will be a community effort to "teach the interim president" to address "The State of the College" on August 29. After the academic year begins, we will prepare for an October workshop with the Regents, seeking a shared vision of the leadership Luther College will welcome from its 10th President as we move into the dynamic (some experts say “disruptive”) future of higher education. 
  3. And speaking of Luther’s 10th President … As the Regents regroup the search, the consultant Dr. Bruce Alton is working steadily on candidate generation. You are encouraged to submit nominations to him at bta@agbsearch.com

Luther College has a wonderful calling with remarkable capacities to provide “transformational experiences that connect faith with learning, freedom with responsibility, and life’s work with service.” The challenges ahead are both daunting and promising. The best is yet to be!