Florida President Tom Duncan Shares Insight Regarding Defense Spending Cuts

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His first-ever South Florida interview shed light on the staggering numbers involved in the sequestration process.
Dr. Tom Duncan shares insight with CBS anchor Ben Becker.

Dr. Tom Duncan shares insight with CBS anchor Ben Becker.

July 20, 2012

In his first ever South Florida television interview with CBS (WPEC) anchor Ben Becker, Northwood University Florida President Dr. Tom Duncan shared the staggering numbers relating to billions of dollars in defense cuts which could cost the state of Florida thousands of jobs.

"Congress couldn't agree on how to trim the federal deficit, so one trillion dollars in automatic cuts over the course of ten years are due to go into effect in January, and the amount includes $500 billion in defense spending or $50 billion per year," said Duncan of the process called sequestration.

While commenting on a variety of political headlines, Duncan stated that the perception of the government spending 'other people's money' can often lead one to the mistaken mindset of complacency. He shared that negative effects of sequestration include consumers losing confidence and holding back spending, and businesses hesitating to make investments and to hire new employees.

With The Wall Street Journal reporting that sequestration cuts would leave the defense budget some 30% smaller in 10 years, Floridians are watching closely as the House of Representatives begins debating and deliberating on what programs would be cut under the spending reductions due to go into effect January 2, 2013.


Northwood University faculty experts serve as a valuable community resource in times of economic and political uncertainty by readily sharing their expertise with local and national news media.

Recently appointed Northwood University Florida President, Dr. Tom Duncan worked for the state of Missouri as an assistant to Governor John Ashcroft in education and policy management as well as for the department of economic development as a division director of professional registration from 1985-1992. Prior to his government employment, he was an assistant professor of government and public administration at Evangel College (now Evangel University) for several years.

Duncan earned his PhD. in higher education from the University of Arizona in 2005; an M.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1979; his B.A. in government from Evangel College in 1975; and course of study in preparation for Anglican ordination at the Anglican Mission in the Americas in South Carolina. For the past 12 years he has remained active as a chaplain and pastor in several religious communities.

Duncan served as president of Bethany College (later Bethany University) in Santa Cruz, California, for five years. Duncan assumed his duties at this private, church-related institution in a time of financial uncertainty and declining enrollments. During his tenure, student enrollment grew from fewer than 495 students to over 720 students and the college began its first master's program and enlarged its innovative programs to reach non-traditional students. Duncan successfully balanced budgets by working closely with the board of trustees, fellow administrators, and faculty resulting in a surplus to the college.

Duncan voluntarily left this position in 1997 to pursue his PhD. in higher education administration at the University of Arizona. One year later his wife, Carol, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She passed away in 2001 which left him with two young children to raise. The following year he married his current wife, Rita, whose husband had passed away with cancer in 2000, leaving her with a young child. Now with the responsibilities of having a new wife and three young children, Duncan decided it was best for his new family if he remained closer to home while completing his PhD. dissertation, studying for Anglican ordination, and working in pastoral ministry for several years in the Saint Louis area. As his older children are moving into adulthood, he felt now was a better time to return to a campus leadership position.

He became a visiting professor at Ohio University in 2007 teaching courses which focused on higher education. Duncan also served on PhD. dissertation committees, advised master's students on their M.Ed papers and conducted independent and collaborative research. While at Ohio University he published two papers for the Center of Higher Education.