Monday, April 29, 2013

A Few Thoughts on Matt Olson's Departure from Northland

The president of Northland International University, Dr. Matt Olson, made an announcement during the school's chapel service today. In his own words,

"Last Thursday we had an incredible day, our Founder's Day celebrating the life and ministry of Paul Patz. The wonderful day. We had our service here. We had a lunch with the Patz family. In the afternoon we had a meeting with them and shared all the things that are going on ... We shared everything with them what's happening in the ministry here. We talked about our future plans and some of our present challenges. Several of our board member came up that day and after the meeting that we had with the Patz family, the board met together and in the evening they asked me to come back and meet back with them at 8 o'clock Thursday evening. At that time, they shared with me that they believed in the best interest of Northland and Northland's future, that they find a new president."

While some are calling for silence about the subject, I would still like to make a few comments about what just took place.

  1. Having gone through a similar situation, I understand the emotions that accompany such an announcement. This must be a very difficult time for him and his family. So, I encourage us all to pray for them.
  2. While I disagree with the direction he led the school, I appreciated his demeanor during his response to the "change in plans." It was handled in a classy way and I appreciate that.
  3. In his response, Dr. Olson pointed the student body to the Lord and away from asking questions such as "Why?" But those questions still remain. Why was he let go? Is the board concerned about the direction he was taking the school? And what direction will the board take the school in the future?

Time will tell whether things change for the better at Northland. My hope is that the board will make good decisions and will appoint a man who is able to lovingly lead the ministry in the right direction. Thankfully, "with God all things are possible."

2 comments:

Paul Reece said...

From my understanding, the board and family are more liberal in their doctrine and practice than President Olson. I think they need a complete overhaul to get their new desired direction solidified. The face of "change" (Dr. Olson) and all the negative publicity attached to him, needs to be let go in order to establish a fresh new Northland. I suspect that the new president will possess fewer, if any ties to Fundamentalism. Obviously, my assessment could be riddled with error.

Len Peeler said...

Andy, I believe I have met you at the men's retreat at Camp Peniel. I enjoy your writings and I appreciate and agree with your comments about this situation.