Concordia College in Moorhead names its 12th president

MOORHEAD, Minnesota – Concordia College welcomed its next president during a program on campus Wednesday.

Colin Irvine, 54, is currently the provost and senior executive vice president of Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD

He becomes Concordia’s 12th president on July 1, succeeding William Craft, who will retire on June 30 after 12 years as president. Concordia is a four-year liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The search for a new president began in January 2022. The search committee consisted of members of the Board of Regents, faculty, staff, alumni, and students. Executive search firm Academic Search assisted with the selection of a national pool of applicants.

The Rev. Gary Henderson, a member of the Board of Regents and chair of the committee, told the campus audience Wednesday that there were many unknowns when the search began.

Colin Irvine is announced as the 12th president of Concordia College on Wednesday, January 11, at the Knutson Campus Center, Moorhead, Minn. (Forum News Service)

“We trust God to put the right person in our path,” he said.

Irvine, who was joined on the show by his wife, Kelly, and their two adult children, Cal and Caroline, said he had not been looking for another job. He drew parallels between Amity’s opportunity and meeting his wife.

“I met Kelly on a Thursday and on Sunday I decided this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I have had a similar experience with this place,” she said.

Irvine was moved when talking about his late father, who was a janitor and carpenter.

“I would have been very proud of this opportunity to cross my path, to follow in his footsteps and to serve others with humility and hard work,” he said.

After the show, Irvine told The Forum that the biggest challenge for higher education institutions is perception, a nationwide perception of the value of higher education.

Board of Regents President Mary Ranum said Irvine understands the challenges, trends and opportunities.

“He brings competence, creativity, resilience and a wonderful sense of humor to the job of running Concordia,” he said.

Irvine has 20 years of experience in higher education as a teacher and leader.

Prior to Augustana, Irvine was senior vice president for academic affairs and dean at Carroll College in Helena, Mon. He taught English, education, and environmental studies at the University of Augsburg in Minneapolis from 2002 to 2015.

Irvine earned her Ph.D. in English from Marquette University, a Master of Arts in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a BA in English and History from Carroll College. He has received three Fulbright Awards.

An Irvine dedication ceremony will be held after the start of the fall 2023 semester.

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