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Northwood University President Announces Retirement

October 17, 2018

Northwood University President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Pretty announced Wednesday morning that he will retire, effective June 30, 2019.

“President Pretty’s tenure at Northwood has been a transformational time,” said Al Zehnder, Chairman of Northwood University’s Board of Trustees. “Members of the Board, the students, staff, faculty and alumni of Northwood University are grateful to him for his service and leadership. He will leave Northwood University well-positioned for future success.”

In his 12 years as president, Pretty has overseen the renovation and expansion of the university’s Midland, Michigan, residential campus, increased philanthropic giving and grown scholarships, and raised the visibility of the Northwood brand nationally and internationally. He is Northwood’s third president and chief executive officer.

“Northwood University is a special place, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve this vibrant community of current and future leaders,” said Pretty. “I am very proud of all we have accomplished together, which would not have been possible without the collaboration of our faculty, students, staff and administrators and the support of the Board of Trustees.”

Northwood University’s Board of Trustees has convened a presidential search committee and begun the search, with support from the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer. The committee has scheduled listening sessions for internal Northwood University stakeholders, and the search will be a confidential process.

“Releasing the names of candidates, even at the finalist stage, could prevent highly qualified candidates from considering the opportunity,” said Zehnder, who also leads the search committee. “We believe this approach is in the best interest of the university and will allow us to attract the caliber of president we seek.”

Additional information and updates on the presidential search are available on Northwood’s web site at

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