Craft named new Concordia-Moorhead president

Just got this forwarded to me from Concordia College in Moorhead, which has been on the verge of naming a new president:


The Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., Board of Regents voted unanimously today to name Dr. William J. Craft president-elect of the college.  He will be the 11th president in Concordia’s 120-year history.  He will begin his duties as president on July 11, 2011.

“Dr. Craft has demonstrated exemplary leadership throughout his accomplished career in higher education,” says David Solberg, Board of Regents chair. “We are impressed by his ability to create and carry out a vision for success. He believes in Concordia’s mission and has the experience, wisdom, and drive to lead us to new heights of distinction.”

Craft has served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, since 2000. During his time at Luther, Craft worked with faculty to revise the curriculum, with the president to design and implement strategic planning, with the full community on initiatives in diversity and sustainability, and with graduates and friends of the college to build resources to support the college mission.

Craft previously worked for 20 years at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Maryland as an English professor, including several years as chair of the department. During his final four years at Mount St. Mary’s, he also served as dean of undergraduate studies.

“I am delighted by this opportunity to serve Concordia,” says Craft. “It is a great honor to follow extraordinary leaders like Paul Dovre and Pam Jolicoeur. Concordia is a liberal arts college on the move as it continues to develop outstanding programs and facilities. I am keen to join the Concordia community as we build on that momentum.”

Craft had a chance to engage with faculty, staff, and students during his visit to campus earlier this month. Presidential Search Committee members, including faculty Dr. Susan Larson, Dr. Mark Jensen and Dr. Vince Arnold, say Craft is a thoughtful and collaborative leader who knows how to get things done.

“He’s an extraordinary individual, “ says Arnold. “His knowledge, experience and passion for the liberal arts make him exceptionally qualified to lead Concordia. We are fortunate to have a person of his caliber serve as our next president.”

A graduate of Westminster College (Penn.), Craft earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His scholarly publications are on English Renaissance literature, and his involvement in numerous associations and boards has included national presentations on curriculum development, faculty workload, learning assessment, and fundraising.

Dr. Craft and his wife Anne have two grown children, Josh and Meg. They are longtime active members of First Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa.

Concordia is planning to introduce Dr. Craft officially as president-elect during his first return visit to campus on Wednesday, March 30.