Patrick Springer, Published March 15 2011
Unanimous choice for Concordia president forwarded to board
William Craft, vice president for academic affairs and dean of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, emerged as the search committee’s unanimous choice to be forwarded to Concordia’s Board of Regents, which will make the selection.
“He’s a very passionate individual speaking about undergraduate education, undergraduate liberal arts education and the importance of liberal arts,” David Solberg, a member of the search committee and chairman of Concordia’s Board of Regents, said Monday.
“He understands Concordia’s culture and Concordia’s mission very well,” said Solberg, a Concordia alumnus who ranches in eastern Montana. “He’s just an excellent fit.”
Both Concordia and Luther, with about 2,500 students, are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and have a heritage involving Norwegian immigrants.
“I am honored to be recommended as President of Concordia, and with my wife, Anne Craft, I await the board’s decision with great anticipation,” Craft said in a statement.
“I admire Concordia for the wholeness of its faith and learning mission as a liberal arts college of the church; its leadership in global education, and its innovative Offutt Business School; its commitment to collaborative learning among faculty and students; and the life of service and high achievement among its graduates,” he added.
The board will meet, via phone conference, to select the president, probably within 10 to 15 days, Solberg said.
“I can’t predict anything but I don’t see a problem,” he said. “Dr. Craft stood out for a number of reasons. His preparation for the job, it’s almost textbook.”
Craft was among an undisclosed number of finalists for the position, created by the unexpected death last year of Pamela Jolicoeur, Concordia’s 10th president.
Paul Dovre, a former Concordia president, returned from retirement to lead Concordia until a successor takes over.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522