Grace University, located in Omaha, Neb., has begun the search process for a successor to President James Eckman, who announced his plans to retire June 30, 2012. Dr. Eckman has been with Grace University since 1983, the last 14 years as the president. During his tenure, Eckman has increased the University's academic programs, enhanced student growth and provided financial stability. He has led multiple development and building campaigns, which have significantly improved the campus. In the past decade, Grace University built a new health and fitness center, added the Grewcock Center for Teaching Excellence and renovated student lounges, the Schmidt Residence Hall, Suckau Chapel and Tschetter Academic Building. It also expanded significantly the newly renovated Grewcock Library.
Curt Hofer, a Grace University Board of Trustees member, Grace Alumni and CEO of Jasperstone Holdings, has been appointed chairman of the Presidential Search Committee. Joining him are fellow board members Tom Eversden, Rev. Dr. Selwyn Bachus, Rev. Carlon Tschetter, Monica Morrison, Michael Whealy and Doug Troupe, who is also president of the Grace Foundation. Other search committee members include key Grace University faculty and staff.
"We have assembled a very strong committee representing various constituencies of Grace University," says Hofer. "I have sensed among them a willingness to work hard together as we begin the important task of finding the next president of Grace University."
The search committee will be working with The Dingman Company, a firm that has been involved in more than 200 executive searches for higher education, ministry and business. The Dingman Company has placed executives in many schools that similar to Grace University are members of the Association of Biblical Higher Education.
The firm's president, Bruce Dingman, will be working directly with Grace University's search committee. Dingman managed businesses for Sheraton and Scottsdale Memorial Hospital among others before becoming president of the firm in 1993. He has lead searches for Azusa Pacific University, Colorado Christian University, Cornerstone University, John Brown University and The King's College, among other faith-based organizations.
Dingman met with Grace University's board of trustees on Nov. 5, 2010, to create a timeline for the search process. One of the first steps will be to invite The Dingman Company representatives onto the campus for interviews from faculty, staff, students and alumni. These interviews are crucial to develop a profile for the position. Once the profile is completed, the full search process will begin.