Search Committee Announced

Dear Luther College Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of Regents, we are pleased to announce the members of the presidential search committee who will lead the process to identify the 11th president of Luther College to succeed President Carlson, who is retiring after the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year.

The composition of our presidential search committee was determined after an extensive and collaborative effort to understand and apply current best practices in higher education presidential search processes. The individuals were selected to represent a cross-section of the various constituencies of Luther College. Individually and collectively, they bring a broad and inclusive array of education, backgrounds, skills, abilities, personal and professional qualities and experiences and frames of reference to the search process, including:

  • Respect, trust, integrity and expertise to represent their respective communities.
  • Knowledge of and belief in Luther College and its mission.
  • Willingness and commitment to serve the interests of Luther College as a whole, and to listen and learn while engaging in respectful, honest and candid dialogue with other members of the committee.
  • Ability to represent multiple constituencies, including regents, faculty, alumni, staff, Decorah community and parents; as well as key priorities/programs in the strategic plan and diversity, broadly defined as gender, ethnicity, faith/Lutheranism, campus interest groups and experience/perspectives.
  • Commitment to maintain confidentiality throughout and after the search process.

Members of the Luther College presidential search committee are:

Board of Regent Representatives
Bishop Michael Burk, Southeastern Iowa Synod of the ELCA
George Kuh'68, regent emeritus; professor emeritus, Indiana University
Sandee Joppa '87, human resources executive, Joppa Consulting, LLC
J. Robert Paulson, Jr. '78, president and CEO NxThera, Inc.
Connie Plaehn '75, retired investment executive, J.P. Morgan
James Thomsen '86, president of Thrivent Holdings, Thrivent Financial
Judy Vijums '88, managing director, HCI Equity Partners

Faculty Representatives
Anne-Marine Feat, associate professor, French; division chair, Humanities and Fine Arts
Steven Holland, associate professor economics; department head, economics, accounting and management
Novian Whitsett, associate professor, Africana studies and English; department head, Africana studies

Staff Representatives
Alex Smith '03, associate athletic director for operations and facilities
Amy Wrightsman '01, director, budgeting and internal control

Student Representative
Janet Irankunda '19, student senate president, music major

Wendy (Jaycox) Davidson, '92, chair of the Board of Regents and president-U.S. Specialty of Kellogg Company, will serve as an ex-officio member of the presidential search committee; as will Sally Ming, executive assistant to the president, who will provide staff support to the presidential search committee.

Julie E. Tea and Kenna Boyd of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates will be on campus Sept. 13-14 to meet with individuals representing a variety of Luther’s constituent groups to gather thoughts and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities, as well as the leadership skills and personal attributes seen as most important for our next president.

For those who are not on campus, or who are unable to meet with Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates during their visit, an electronic stakeholder survey will be available to provide input. The dates, times and locations for the campus forums, and the link to the online survey will be communicated shortly.

With the information gathered from these campus visits and the survey, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, in collaboration with the presidential search committee, will compile a search prospectus to describe Luther College, together with the profile of and the leadership agenda for the next president. This search prospectus will be distributed to the Luther College community and utilized by Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates to garner nominations and expressions of interest.

We expect the search process will take several months with the target for the Board of Regents to elect the next president in early 2019 and the president to assume office in the summer of 2019.

Thank you for your continued support and participation in these important exchanges about the future of Luther College. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and perspectives.

Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

We look forward to seeing faculty, staff, emeriti and guests at the annual Service of Dedication today at 3:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall and during the reception that follows in Bentdahl Commons.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Bob Paulson, ‘78, Board Vice Chair; Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Wendy Davidson, ‘92, Board Chair