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Central Administration of Northwood University 

Our University’s officers, the Central Administration, are business and educational leaders with national reputations in various endeavors and fields. Together, they share a profound professional and personal commitment to Northwood.

Kent MacDonald
President and Chief Executive Officer

The President and Chief Executive Officer is responsible to the trustees of the University for the implementation of their governance directives. He serves as the primary strategist and external relations officer, manages the other officers and affairs of the University and serves as a major fund raiser.

Dr. Kent MacDonald is a highly regarded leader in the higher education sector. He comes to Northwood University from St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), one of Canada’s oldest and most respected universities, where he has served as president and vice chancellor since 2014. Prior to his term at StFX, Dr. MacDonald also served as president of Algonquin College, one of Canada's largest and most innovative colleges and one of the country’s leading online education providers.

Kent brings more than two decades of higher education leadership experience to Northwood. In addition to his two presidential appointments, Dr. MacDonald has also served as academic vice president, vice president student services, dean, school of business and full professor. With this range of expertise, Kent is well prepared to support the Northwood staff in a variety of operational areas, including strategic enrollment management, finance, information communication technologies, student athletics, residence operations and areas related to student services.

Dr. MacDonald has many years’ experience in private fundraising and philanthropic outreach. While at StFX he launched a $50 million endowment to enhance access and affordability for students; as well as oversaw the completion of a $100 million campaign to create an academic research center.

Dr. MacDonald earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario) and his Master of Education (MEd) degree from StFX University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia). He is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) where his doctoral research focused on high-performing colleges and presidential leadership. Dr. MacDonald's research interest is related to the higher education sector and effective leadership. In this regard, he has addressed audiences around the world including Europe, Southeast and Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Dr. MacDonald is married to Mary Ellen MacPhee, who is also a lifelong educator. She is an experienced school principal who is currently completing her PhD, with a focus on student success and inclusion. They met over thirty years ago when they were undergraduate students in Nova Scotia and have since lived in New Zealand and in Ontario. They have four children (Adam, Matthew, Meagan and Patrick) who reside in various parts of Canada


Kristin Stehouwer, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer/Chief Academic Officer

In her role as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Academic Officer for Northwood University, Kristin Stehouwer is responsible for student success, strategy development and deployment, and the university’s quality systems and analytics.

She joined Northwood University in 2009 from Macomb Community College where she served concurrently as Executive Director of Research and Planning and Vice Provost for Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining Macomb Community College, she served as Director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and Special Advisor to the President at Northwestern Michigan College. She also worked on special assignment to the U.S. Department of Commerce at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and worked in the area of global manufacturing competitiveness, which included a national speaking tour.

Stehouwer earned her doctorate from Northwestern University in Political Science and International Relations. Her graduate studies include International Law at the University of Strasbourg as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. Her scholarly work has focused on political and economic cooperation. She also earned her bachelor and master’s degrees from Northwestern University. Stehouwer completed postgraduate work at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

Stehouwer has extensive experience in facilitating and deploying strategy in many types of organizations, including in the financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, education and service sectors. She has entrepreneurial experience and business management experience with large and small organizations, including family businesses. Having worked with organizations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, Stehouwer speaks six languages. She has specialized in the areas of strategic management, performance excellence, process improvement and organization/leadership development.

She serves as peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. Stehouwer has served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and in 2017, she was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve a three-year term on the Judges Panel for the award.

Community service is important to Stehouwer and she is an active Rotarian. She serves on the board of the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce. Her prior board service includes the Midland Center for the Arts and the Michigan ACE Women’s Leadership Network.


Justin Marshall
Vice President of University Advancement and Alumni

Justin W. Marshall is Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations at Northwood University in Midland, Mich., and he previously served as Vice President for Advancement for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Marshall started at the Center in 2002 as a fiscal policy researcher but switched portfolios to join the Center’s advancement department full time in 2003. He served as the Center’s membership development officer until 2006 and as director of advancement from 2006–2008.

Marshall is a graduate of Northwood University, having received his degree summa cum laude and having triple-majored in economics, business management and hotel, restaurant and resort management. In his final year at Northwood, he won the Arthur E. Turner Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for a graduating student. Marshall also studied abroad at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing.

Before working at the Center, Marshall helped coordinate events for the Olympic Torch Relay in the run-up to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He has traveled widely, visiting France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea, Mexico and New Zealand. He volunteers his time with United Way of Midland County, as a board member with Railway Family Center, and as a charter member of Young Leaders United.

Marshall lives in Midland, Michigan and is a native of Holly, Michigan


Timothy G. Nash, Ed.D.
Senior Vice President, Strategic and Corporate Alliances; Robert C. McNair Endowed Chair; Director of Robert C. and Janice McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Timothy Nash joined Northwood in 1980 and received a B.B.A. from the university, an M.A. in Economics from Central Michigan University and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction with his cognate in business administration from Wayne State University. He is an associate professor of Economics and Business for the undergraduate program and is an associate professor of Economics and Public Policy at the DeVos Graduate School. His travels and research have taken him to more than 20 countries from China and Hong Kong to Poland and Norway where he also participated in academic colloquiums. Dr. Nash is an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland and the former State Director of Economic Education for the clergy for the State of Michigan. Dr. Nash has co-authored three books and conducted research and consulting for a number of Fortune 500 companies, GM UAW PEL and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). He serves on the boards of the Free Enterprise Institute (FEI) in Houston, Texas, the Midland Academy of Advanced & Creative Studies, Junior Achievement of Central Michigan, Inc. and the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce.


Karl Stephan
Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Karl Stephan is responsible for all financial functions, legal compliance and other business operations for the University. Departments reporting to him include accounting, budgeting, taxation and compliance, information technology, risk management and investments, financial aid, business office, human resources, payroll and auxiliary services. He also serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

Karl earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University and MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.

Stephan joined Northwood University in June, 2007 as its International Controller and was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Finance in September, 2008. He assumed his current responsibilities as the University’s Chief Financial Officer following the retirement of Don Hunkins from this position in July, 2009.

Karl serves on a number of community and professional organizations, including the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Great Lakes Bay Region and the AICUM Workers Compensation Board.

Karl came to Northwood after a long career in senior management for the Kmart Corporation and Sears Holdings Corporation. Prior to joining Sears, Roebuck and Co., Karl began his professional career at the public accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co.


Rachel Valdiserri
Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations

Rachel leads the integration of all marketing, communications, and public relations strategies and tactics across the University system and supports the organization's mission and vision, and demonstrates the ideals of Northwood’s values in the management of this portfolio. Rachel also leads market research, strategic planning, branding oversight, external and internal communications, as well as, media placement and measurement. She joined Northwood University in 2010 and held various roles including Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Director of Enrollment Analytics.

Prior to joining the University, Rachel worked for Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, Michigan, as a business development specialist where she was responsible for business and market planning for corporate, as well as various healthcare service lines. She began her career in the financial services sector holding leadership positions at various credit unions including Vice President of Credit Union Development and Vice President of Sales and Service.

She is affiliated with several professional organizations including, American Marketing Association, American Advertising Federation, Association for Institutional Research, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and Chambers of Commerce across Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region and the state of Michigan.

Rachel earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Northwood University. She is a life-long resident of the Great Lakes Bay Region and currently resides in Saginaw Township.


Rhonda C. Anderson
Vice President of Enrollment Management

Rhonda Anderson is the Vice President of Enrollment Management at Northwood University and has over 30 years’ experience in higher education administration and enrollment management.

She started her career as an Admissions Counselor for the Michigan campus in 1986. From 1990 until 2007, she served as Director for Northwood University’s Lansing Program Center. In 2007, she joined the DeVos Graduate School of Management as Associate Dean. In 2009, she returned to the Adult Degree Program as Associate Dean. In May 2003 she was named Dean of the Adult Degree Program. She now serves as the Vice President of Enrollment Managment.

She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, an MBA, and completed doctoral coursework in curriculum and instruction. She has held leadership roles in the Michigan American Council on Education’s Network and the Zonta Club of Midland, and been active in many community organizations including Shelterhouse and Boy Scouts of America.