As you know, my time in Valley City will soon be coming to a close, as I return to Kansas to begin a new journey as the 10th president of Fort Hays State University. I would like to share with the greater Valley City community some of the thoughts that I shared with campus earlier this month:
“It is with a heavy heart I write this note to share with you that I have accepted the presidency of Fort Hays State University. This was an extremely difficult decision for me.
“The search process began in the summer. I was approached by the search firm, the past president, and many colleagues. I consistently and without hesitation turned everyone down as I have been very committed to and happy at VCSU. I began working with and supporting other candidates.
“Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I received a compelling call urging me to submit my credentials. Something felt different about this call. I searched my heart and I prayed. I began to believe that perhaps my journey was supposed to be different than my plans. I allowed my credentials to be considered, and today I was named the next president of Fort Hays State University.”
That happened November 3, and I have since submitted my letter of resignation to the State Board of Higher Education and the Chancellor, effective December 15. In planning my departure, most important to me is being here for our graduates and community at Winter Commencement on December 14.
My time at Valley City State University, and as a member of the North Dakota State University System, has been among the best years of my professional life. I will miss my job and the incredible people with whom I have had the pleasure of working during these past three years. I will especially miss our students.
I am indebted to Valley City State University and my colleagues for the opportunities and experiences that shaped my leadership, the university, the community, the system, and the state. It has been an honor to serve with such dedicated, talented, and caring individuals.
I am deeply grateful for the support, encouragement, and professional growth I experienced from members of the State Board of Higher Education, the Chancellor, the NDUS presidents and senior staff, and legislators.
Bill and I have especially enjoyed being residents and engaged members of this wonderful Valley City community. We will cherish our memories of this special place and the many people who have touched our hearts. Thank you.
I know the strength of Valley City State University and the tremendous support we receive from the local community. VCSU will continue to thrive. Thank for you for all you do for our students, faculty and staff. Never forget the impact you make in our lives and the collective impact we all make in this world.
Thank you for believing in me, for embracing Bill and I, and for working with us to build upon this strong and effective university. It has been a privilege to work and live with you, knowing every day is a great day to be a Viking!