June 1, 2012

New Horizons

As we at Northwood University continually refine our operations to better serve the year-round, flexible learning needs of today’s students, it is vital for everyone to understand the roles our leaders play both within Northwood and in service to our surrounding communities, especially those regions served by our residential campuses.

Earlier this week we were pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Tom L. Duncan as president, Northwood Florida (click here to see press release). Dr. Duncan brings a wealth of experience in higher education, government, religious and human services background to Northwood University. As a former college president, Dr. Duncan has a track record of student engagement, advancement results, and enrollment growth.

We are also refining our focus on the core roles, responsibilities, and expectations of our officer team. Going forward, our officer team members will fall into one of two groups: one with operational responsibilities for specific campuses and/or regions, and the second with service responsibilities to numerous units across our entire University. 

The first group, the operational officers, includes what has traditionally been known as the provosts of Florida, Michigan, and Texas. As you may know, the title of provost is most commonly used to designate the academic leader of a college or university. Because our provosts are responsible for enrollment, alumni and advancement, and operations, it is important for them to have a title that better reflects their local responsibilities and in turn communicates that to other community leaders as part of their outreach—similar to the positions held by divisional and regional presidents in the automotive and banking industries, for example.

Effective with the beginning of our fiscal year on July 1, 2012, Dr. William Bateman will serve as president, Michigan campus, and Dr. Kevin Fegan will serve as president, Northwood Texas. Dr. Tom Duncan, as mentioned above, will serve as president, Northwood Florida. Although their titles are changing, their roles and missions will not. In addition, while they carry the title of president, they maintain the same reporting line to me as they and all our service officers do today. 

Also effective July 1, Dr. Kristin Stehouwer will assume the additional duties of chief operating officer while continuing her role as executive vice president and chief academic officer. As such, she assumes direct supervision of the operational officers in Florida, Michigan and Texas, and will play a secondary role to the CEO in the supervision of the service officer team. The operational and service officers will remain as peers to each other.

Our operational officers will hold similar but also different responsibilities depending on their location. For instance, Dr. Bateman is responsible primarily for operations on the Michigan campus; community service in the Great Lakes Bay Region; and fundraising and alumni relations for the Michigan campus in a matrixed management structure with Vice President D’Ambrosio.

Dr. Fegan and Dr. Duncan are responsible for different configurations and additional duties. Dr. Fegan is responsible for the Texas residential campus operation; the logistics and operational needs of our Adult Degree Program in the state of Texas; management of the Distinguished Women’s program; and fundraising and alumni activity responsibilities within Texas and in service to the Texas campus. He is also responsible for facilities and operational support for the DeVos Graduate School of Management in Texas, while Dr. Lisa Fairbairn will continue to have primary control over the faculty and curriculum of the DeVos Graduate School system wide, including Texas and Florida.

Dr. Duncan, in turn, is responsible for residential campus operations in Florida; logistics and operational needs of our Adult Degree Program opportunities in Florida; the Outstanding Business Leaders organization; and fundraising and alumni activity responsibilities within Florida and in service to the Florida campus. As in Texas, Dr. Duncan is responsible for the operational support and facilities of the DeVos Graduate School of Management in Florida, while Dr. Fairbairn maintains primary control over the faculty and curriculum.

Our second group, the service officers, includes Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Karl Stephan; Vice President of Alumni and Advancement, Arnold D’Ambrosio; Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations, John Young; and Vice President of Strategic and Corporate Alliances, Dr. Timothy Nash.

These changes are intended to provide more clarity in our matrixed management system in order to better serve our students and all our stakeholders.  Like you, we understand the need to stay focused on the tasks at hand with the aim of growing Northwood to everyone’s future benefit.

We have a long and proud tradition at Northwood University and we do not intend to rest on our laurels. As we approach new horizons in the world of higher education, and in our own history, we must all work together in a focused and determined fashion. Our students, and the future of the global, free-enterprise society, are depending on it.

Have a great weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640