After much prayer and discussion with Sarah, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to initiate a transition plan that will ultimately result in my leaving the presidency of Cornerstone University.
I have enjoyed many blessings of God in my years as President, but I believe it is time for Sarah and me to seek whatever new adventure God intends for us. I am 54 years of age, enjoy good health, have been in the presidency for 16 years, and have completed a number of university initiatives we set out to accomplish.
It is a good time for me to make a change. It is a good time for the university to seek a new leader to take it to the next level.
At its meeting last Friday, I informed the Cornerstone University Board of Trustees of my intentions and the Board, while surprised, acted graciously in accepting, approving, and after some thought appreciating my proposed transition plan. The plan maximizes the Board's ability to construct and conduct a professional presidential search, something that typically requires as much as a year to implement.
The Board's response will allow me to work together with trustees to manage this transition and its announcement in a manner that reinforces Cornerstone University. Presidential transitions can be noisy, political, and too often hurtful to the schools involved. On the other hand, transitions can be smooth, professional, and actually a benefit to all involved. Both models have been evident in West Michigan in the past couple of years. I prefer the latter example.
Given that this is the end of the academic year, with the Board's support, I expect to continue as CU President likely into the next academic year, departing by May 31, 2008. This gives me time to connect with other organizations and it allows me to work with the Board to orchestrate as smooth and as seamless a passing of the baton as we can.
I am open to whatever God wants for me, e.g., another leadership position in a Christian college or university or perhaps in a different kind of Christian nonprofit organization, corporate or consulting work, etc.
I have nothing but good things to say about Cornerstone University and my experience here. I’ve given the role my all, I’ve tried to honor God in what we did and why we did it, and I believe that any objective measure will indicate the university is better positioned today than it was in 1991. I expect to tell media I have enjoyed my service, I have been blessed with a good run, and I am seeking God’s next step in our journey.
© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2007
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