The President of Northwestern College in Orange City says he will retire as soon as they can find a replacement for him. Bruce Murphy says with a 30-million-dollar fundraising drive about to begin, he thinks it’s a good time to make the transition.
In the 2007 – 2008 school year, Northwestern will celebrate its 125th anniversary. It’ll also launch a new strategic plan, and Murphy says it seemed like the ideal time for a new president would be as the school’s celebrating that anniversary and launching the new plan.
Northwestern has seen enrollment grow by more than eight percent during his time at the helm, to over 1300 students, and the school in Orange City has risen to a top 20 rating among Midwestern colleges in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. Murphy says he thinks the reasons lie in the people at Northwestern, the faculty and staff.
Murphy says Northwestern has people of integrity as well as competence, and an atmosphere of trust, where working together “ends up being a pleasure, as opposed to producing tension.” “The sense of community that we have here within the faculty, staff and current student body gets transferred to families when they visit campus,” he says. After he retires, Murphy will work on an initiative called “A New Way of Doing College.” He says modern life gives us everything but time to think.
“Our culture has become addicted to being busy,” Murphy says. He says too often we define effectiveness in terms of how busy people are, how good they are by how busy they are — and quality then gets defined in terms of quantity. He says that’s particularly hard on young people at the time in their lives when they’re trying to learn, to step back and think through the deep question of what life means. Murphy began his teaching career at Northwestern in 1970, and has been president since 2001.