Letter from the Search Committee
Dear friends of Dordt College,
It is with much excitement that I inform you that the Presidential Search Committee’s nomination for the office of President of Dordt College is Dr. Erik Hoekstra.
The Committee began the search process understanding that many things are going well at Dordt College: its commitment to mission is strong; enrollment is at the highest level in years; its financial position is strong; the institution’s work is bearing fruit as evidenced in stories of graduates who are making an impact for God’s kingdom.
The committee was committed to finding a leader who could join with the Board, administration, staff, and faculty to sustain this position of strength and who could, with persistence, move the college to the next phase of its development.
Our search process was extensive. We gained valuable input from a cross-section of the college’s constituent communities: faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, church leaders, and members of other higher education communities. We listened to many folks in these groups through a series of “Listening Posts.” We used their valuable input to identify the desired qualities we collectively wanted in the next leader of Dordt College. We developed leadership benchmarks to evaluate each candidate’s experience, personal leadership traits, and presentation during the interview process.
We communicated with approximately 80 individuals regarding the position, many of whom were referred to us by constituents. Of the 14 who expressed interest in the position by submitting materials, five candidates were interviewed in the first round of interviews. All were excellent candidates, and two were chosen for the second round of interviews. The final candidates spent up to 12 hours with the search committee or subsets thereof.
Recognizing that the role at Dordt College is a partnership between the president and his spouse, we also invited each spouse to participate in the interview process.
The candidates’ backgrounds, academic and leadership experiences, leadership styles, and vocational expertise were very diverse, which provided the committee with a wonderful opportunity to envision different scenarios.
In the final deliberations, the committee concluded that Dr. Hoekstra’s well-developed and deep passion for the college’s vision and mission, his effective and engaging leadership record at the college in both teaching and academic administration, his knowledge of the college’s positions, strengths, and weaknesses, and his mature understanding of spiritual leadership puts him in the best position to lead as the fourth president of Dordt College.
Here are some of the observations the committee members made in our final analysis of the qualities Dr. Hoekstra brings to the Presidential position.
- Dr. Hoekstra is a listener; he listens intently in seeking to understand.
- He is a catalyst; he uses ideas, knowledge, and effective communications to develop new ways of thinking and to gain community ownership of change.
- He is entrepreneurial; he consistently looks for new and innovative ways to strengthen the college’s position. He is decisive; he can make tough choices.
- He is a true servant leader; his personal mission statement clearly states his personal desire to support others in their growth and service.
Our search consultants, in their analysis of Dr. Hoekstra’s critical leadership traits, made the following observation. “Erik has many of the qualities necessary to build up an educational institution. He is a teacher; he loves knowledge; he enjoys an intellectually stimulating environment. He wants to make an impact on people. He is strategic and a visionary leader. He is motivated to shape, apply, and turn ideas into application.”
All these traits, put into the context of the Opportunity Profile benchmarks, make Dr. Hoekstra the committee’s choice to lead Dordt College into the next phase of its development.
Throughout this search process, we prayed for God’s leading and directing, and for the provision of wisdom into his plan for Dordt College. Please pray for Dr. Hoekstra, his wife Barb, and his family as we move into the transition phase, Lord willing.
May God bless the work of the committee; may He bless Dordt College; and may he bless Dr. Hoekstra as we move forward together.
Soli Deo Gloria—to God alone be all the glory!
Fellow Servant in His service,
Randall J. Kroll
Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
A Presidential Opportunity
Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the search for a new president for Dordt College. We are looking for a new leader with the vision and expertise to build on our strong position and our deep heritage.
I want to publicly congratulate Dr. Carl E. Zylstra. Because of his visionary leadership, the college is ready to make the transition to new leadership.
Under his tenure, Dordt College has remained committed to the task of developing and sharing genuine Christian insight into the meaning, structure, and development of the world God created and graciously maintains. We look forward to what God has in store for Dordt College and for Dr. Zylstra and his wife, Gloria, as they plan the next stage of their lives.
We hope you will join us in the coming days as we reflect on Dr. Zylstra’s contributions to Dordt College and celebrate God’s blessing during his tenure.
As members of the college community and constituency, I invite you to visit this site often and keep abreast of the search process. Please share your thoughts and ideas by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also invite you to join me and the members of the board of trustees in praying for God’s blessing upon the search process. Please pray for wisdom and discernment for the Presidential Search Committee, for God’s blessing upon the college’s fourth president, and that God will be exalted through it all. These are exciting times at Dordt College.
Soli deo Gloria!
Randall J. Kroll
Chair of the Board of Trustees