The subject of leadership has become a central focus for many individuals with the recent election season in our country and the presidential search within our own university. Since the announcement last spring, we have all been aware that the presidency of Gordon Anderson is coming to an end. And while the thought of losing such a great warrior of Christian higher education has been saddening to many, I believe many have eagerly anticipated the next chapter of North Central leadership, and rightly so.
On Feb. 12, Scott Hagan was announced as president-elect. In the days that followed the announcement, a special chapel service was held to formally introduce Hagan to the student body. While he does not officially take office until June 1, Hagan and his wife, Karen, have already started the process of learning the ropes to leadership in our institution.
While a large portion of the university was able to hear about the process of electing Hagan and hear his heart for the university, this does not eliminate the possibly for questions and concerns about the new elect. Why shouldn’t we have questions? I believe this is natural, I have them as well. Why should we openly trust the leadership of Hagan and the rest of the administration? As a student body, we know very little about him. We live in a world where words are simply not enough. There must be actions that fulfill the promises of our leaders. While I think this is wise, we often forget to provide our leaders the opportunity to lead.
On Monday, Feb. 13, I was greatly honored to sit with President-elect Scott Hagan, Karen Hagan, Pastor Ron Bontrager, Todd Monger, and a group of student leaders representing a variety of student-led organizations. The purpose of the meeting was for the Hagans to meet a representation of the student body, and also to hear our hearts for North Central. We were told that completion rates of college degrees were shockingly low. President-elect Hagan presented us student leaders with this question: ‘Why are you sticking it out here?’
I do not lie to you when I say that the past year and a half has been most challenging. Friendships have been lost and family hurt. I have had a sense of being lost both with myself and the future of North Central. To leave North Central and never look back would have been easy for all too many reasons. Recently, I’ve been so grateful I didn’t leave. I realized how large of a mistake that would have been, and Scott Hagan helped prove that. He brought life to a room of tired leaders. He brings a passion for not only North Central, but also for the surrounding community. He understands that we are unique. He is completely invested into North Central, not just as a school, but as a group of individuals. He brings a world of experience. And because of this, I fully trust President-elect Scott Hagan. I encourage you to do the same.
God’s will for this university is not over; it is meant to continue thriving in both old and new ways. God has chosen President-elect Scott Hagan to be our leader, and while we may be wary of man, I appeal to you to invest your trust and hope in God. Let us give Scott Hagan the chance to lead us in the way God has called him.