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Northwood University Appoints Dr. Tom Duncan as President of Florida Area

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During his tenure as president of Bethany College, 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.

Northwood University has appointed Dr. Tom L. Duncan as president, Northwood Florida. Dr. Keith A. Pretty, president and CEO, said, "Dr. Duncan possesses both excellent academic credentials and broad-based community leadership experience. Both students and faculty are looking forward to his leadership of Florida."

Dr. 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.

From 1985-1992 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. 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.

"The reason that I support The Northwood Idea enthusiastically is that these values are my own. The major themes of The Idea are very familiar to me and are part of my own political, economic and personal philosophies," states Dr. Duncan. He continues, "I believe in competition, human effort and the rewards and failures that human effort brings. Also, I believe in eliminating all artificial barriers to human participation in competitive enterprise so that all individuals have an equal opportunity to participate, contribute, succeed and fail."