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NCC names new president-elect.

Byline: Lewis Taylor The Register-Guard

Northwest Christian College introduced its new president-elect, David Wilson, on Friday and presented him with a hard hat, a symbol of the small private school's recent expansion and continued growth.

"It remains to be seen exactly how that growth will look, what exact forms it will take and in what ways the curriculum will grow, but it no doubt will," Wilson said, following a press conference.

NCC recently completed a 43,000-square-foot events center and $13.4 million fund-raising campaign. Wilson, currently the vice president for academic affairs and dean at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., will succeed outgoing president James Womack on July 1.

Wilson, who has worked as both an administrator and an academic, won praise from those involved in the selection process for his wide ranging background.

"He has a unique ability to relate to students, faculty and citizens," said Sen. Frank Morse, R-Albany, chair of the college's board of trustees. "I think he has the ability to reach out to the community and engage the community, and we just feel like we have the right guy."

Wilson served as an assistant professor of psychology at Texas A&M University starting in 1977, before committing himself to a career in faith-based higher education. He taught psychology at Phillips University in Enid, Okla., then, in 1988, moved on to Culver-Stockton College, a four-year residential school affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he was an administrator. He is also the author of several books on education and has written articles for academic journals on race and racism, among other subjects.

In late 2002, NCC faced accusations of racial discrimination on campus after the dismissal of the dean of education. College administrators denied the charges.

"He (Wilson) has clearly taken the steps in a broad sense to prepare himself for this role" said Rod Tibbatts, the chair of the search committee that recommended Wilson.

"There are a lot of (academics) that are excellent at what they do, but he brings that quality of being able to reach out to all of our constituents, which goes beyond those on campus - the churches, the community at large, our many supporters and alumni - to help build new relationships."

The selection process began last June, when Womack, an 18-year veteran of the school, announced he'd be retiring at the end of the 2003-04 school year.

"I'm absolutely delighted," Womack said of the selection. "He's coming at a good time. There are some challenges and opportunities that he'll be able to get a hold of right from the start."

Womack, who plans to live in Eugene and commute to Sacramento to work part time for William Jessup University, was hopeful that Wilson would build on some of the changes he oversaw at NCC during his tenure. The school doubled its enrollment to more than 500 students and he broadened the academic offerings with new programs including education, business and school counseling. He also spearheaded the school's successful "Vision for our Second Century" fund-raising campaign.
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Title Annotation:Higher Education; School hopes to continue growing campus offerings with new leadership
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 13, 2004
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