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Presidential Search

Toward uncommon leadership

Concordia University Wisconsin | Ann Arbor (CUWAA) has embarked on the search for its next president to boldly lead our critical Christ-centered mission. As the Church’s school, our next president must accelerate Concordia’s forward movement to educate 21st-century learners who go forth and lead uncommon lives of service and leadership for the sake of Christ throughout the Church and the world.

Indeed, selecting the next president is the most important decision our Board of Regents will make. We are committed to this search. It will be a collaborative and transparent process that engages the Concordia community as, together, we seek God’s direction and leading.

Our search will be successful by His ordaining and through the contributions of our students, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends.

Please visit this webpage often for updates about the search and for details about how to engage in the work.

Most importantly, we invite you to commit to fervent prayer for God’s guidance as we discern the way forward at Concordia University. We are, and will remain, one Concordia—hearts together.


The Board of Regents has voted to invite three initial candidates, approved by the Prior Approval Panel, for interviews.

Candidate names and more information here.

Presidential search committee

The Board of Regents, at its February 2021 meeting, identified the members of the Presidential Search Committee and charged the committee to lead the search process. The committee members meet the criteria for membership set in the by-laws of The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod (LCMS) **, represent CUWAA’s values, confession, and culture, and know the university well. The committee will determine how students, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends can become involved in the search.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the committee here.

** LCMS bylaws require that members of the search committee represent the Board of Regents, the faculty, and the staff. Faculty members and staff members must be members of LCMS congregations.

  • Richard (Dick) Laabs
    Chair, Board of Regents
  • Harriet Pedersen
    Vice Chair, Board of Regents
  • Dwayne Jobst
    Secretary, Board of Regents
  • Jon Schumacher
    Regent, Board of Regents
  • Mark Polzin
    Regent, Board of Regents
  • Dale Robertson
    Regent, Board of Regents
  • Rev. Dwayne Lueck
    President, LCMS North Wisconsin District
  • Christine Specht-Palmert
    Chair of the Foundation Board
  • Terry Donovan
    Member, Foundation Board
  • Allen Prochnow
    Executive Vice President and COO, Agent of the Board
  • Rev. Daniel Paavola, Ph.D.
    Professor and Chair, Theology Department
  • Leah Dvorak, Ph.D.
    Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor
  • Cynthia Fenske, DNP, RN, CNE
    Assistant Vice Provost of Academics, Ann Arbor
  • Kimberly Masenthin, MBA, SPHR
    Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
  • Beth DeJongh, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCPP
    Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice

Search Process

Select a step to learn more...

In this phase, the Board of Regents established its search committee.

Together, the Board and committee solicited input from the university community to clarify the needs, challenges, and opportunities that the next president will face and identified the skills, abilities, qualities, and experiences the next leader must possess.

Listening sessions

March 25 through April 19, the Search Committee hosted 24 listening sessions (via Zoom) that gave students, alumni, and friends of the University the opportunity to convey their expectations and hopes for our next president. Click here to view a summary report.

Summary Report

Based on the feedback, the committee created the Presidential Candidate Profile, which outlines the preferred professional characteristics and experiences, essential values, and personal characteristics of the University’s next leader.

LCMS bylaws specify the process by which candidates may be nominated for president at Concordia University.

The nomination window closed July 15. From May 14-July 15, the following groups/individuals had opportunity to nominate a candidate for president: Congregations of the Synod (LCMS), the Board of Directors of the Concordia University System (CUS), the Board of Regents, and CUWAA faculty.

Candidates were given opportunity to accept or decline their nomination.

The Board of Regents will forward the names of willing nominees to the President of the Concordia University System.

The CUS President, with the President of the LCMS and the chairman of the CUS Board of Directors, meet to consider the submitted nominees. The panel may choose to remove names from the list by its two-thirds majority vote. The list of prior-approved nominees is then returned to the university Board of Regents no less than sixty days from the receipt of the initial list.

The list of approved nominees will be published on this website.

The Presidential Search Committee will advance its work among the list of prior-approved nominees.

The Committee will review candidate materials, recommend finalists, conduct interviews and other open town-hall styled sessions, review feedback of these engagements, and recommend a final candidate.

Throughout the process, candidate materials and updates will be available on this webpage.

The Board voted unanimously to interview three candidates who were approved by the Prior Approval Panel (the "PAP") and appeared on the list of highly-qualified candidates identified by the search committee.

Candidate interviews will take place during summer, 2022.

Search documents

Presidential search updates

  • 05/19/22
    Search Update May 19, 2022

    Three candidates announced for search committee interviews no later than Aug 1, 2022

  • 02/01/22
    Executive Committee Statement, February 1, 2022

    On January 12, the Board of Regents voted to end their first presidential search process without taking any action regarding the 11 names approved by the Prior Approval Panel.

  • 01/12/22
    Update – January 12, 2022

    The Board voted to end its first search without taking any action regarding nominees approved by the Prior Approval Panel.

View Archived Updates