Dr. Jenifer Ward, who serves as Provost and Dean of the College at Centenary College in Louisiana, will become the 11th President of Luther College as of July 1st. When it was announced in March that Ward had been selected for the position, she stated, "We are at a crucial inflection point in the history of liberal arts education in our country, and in a world that needs the kind of graduates Luther College fosters."
Luther College Board of Regents Chair Wendy Davidson and Vice Chair Bob Paulson tell decorahnews.com that Regents also thought a lot about that inflection point heading into the search for a new President. The Regents began their search shortly after they had approved a 2018 comprehensive strategic plan called "Inspired. Empowered. Engaged." Luther's current President, Dr. Paula Carlson, lead the implementation of Phase I of the strategic initiatives while the presidential search was conducted in parallel.
The two Board of Regents leaders say "Dr. Ward's personal and professional background, combined with her broad and deep experience as both an educator and administrator serving multiple liberal arts colleges, and her passion and commitment to the principles of what it means to be a college of the church, made her an exemplary candidate."
For her part, Dr. Ward said she was attracted to Luther College "as a Lutheran, as a graduate of and leader in institutions that live in the intersection of liberal arts and vocation as an animating force for action and service; as a successful proponent of global education and support of research and creativity efforts among students; and as a former engaged citizen of a small town in the Upper Midwest."
In the next three months, Dr. Ward will work with President Carlson and with a Presidential Transition Committee. After Dr. Ward takes office as Luther President July 1st, President Carlson will continue to be available to discuss the comprehensive strategic plan and any other transition matters.
Say Davidson and Paulson, "We believe our strategic plan, developed under the leadership of Dr. Carlson and executed going forward under the leadership of Dr. Ward, provides a compelling and competitive path for Luther's future to create, articulate and deliver an educational experience for the 21st Century."