The Board of Trustees of Eastern University announced Monday the appointment of Dr. Robert G. Duffett as the university’s next president. Duffett will start on July 1, 2013, when President David Black retires after 15 years.
“Bob Duffett brings a deep sense of purpose combined with decades of impactful leadership in Christian higher education,” said Dr. Ardell Thomas, chair of the presidential search committee. “We were impressed with his skill set, his heart for ministry, and his passion for Eastern University's mission of Faith, Reason and Justice.”
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For the past 27 years, Duffett has served in a variety of leadership roles in Christian higher education. As president of Dakota Wesleyan University for the last 12 years, Duffett established the George McGovern Library, Museum and Center for Leadership and Public Service. Other key initiatives of his tenure include the Kelley Center for Entrepreneurship and the DWU Center for Talent Development, a collaboration with the Gallup Organization to strengthen student success by coordinating personal talents, educational goals and post-graduate planning.
"I look forward to leading a university that I have admired from my earliest days as a Christian," Duffett said in a statement. In the face of demographic and economic challenges, I am committed to encouraging Eastern's culture of
entrepreneurship so its talented people may continue to develop solutions assuring middle income families and first generation learners access to an excellent education."
Duffett’s relationship with Eastern University began when his first pastor, an Eastern University graduate, encouraged him to pursue a career in ministry at his alma mater. Duffett reported, “I longed to attend Eastern, but I wanted to play football even more, and Eastern didn’t field a football team.”
A native of Youngstown, OH, Dr. Duffett attained his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Greek from Bethel College, St. Paul, MN. His Master of Divinity degree was earned at Bethel Theological Seminary. His Master of Theological Studies degree in theology and communication hails from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. in organizational theory/management and historical theology was secured at the University of Iowa. Bob and his wife, Connie, have a son and a daughter, both in college.
The above information was provided by Eastern University.