*This letter was sent out from the president’s office to the student body.
After five years as President of Pacific Lutheran University, I have decided to step down at the end of my term of office after Commencement at the end of the academic year in May and return to my teaching and research work in the Department of English.
These five years have been full of challenge and progress, and I’m proud of the hard work and collaborative spirit we Lutes have invested in our beloved institution. We’ve made important progress on our shared values of Diversity, Justice and Sustainability, and PLU is much stronger for it. I like to say that “The World Needs More PLU”; by that I mean that the world needs more people committed to the values we hold dear.
I am deeply grateful to the students, faculty, staff, alumni, regents, donors and friends of PLU who have invested time, energy, resources, and passion into our important mission to “Educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership, and care—for other people, for their communities, and for the Earth.” As I’ve said many times, the word “care” is unusual in a university mission statement, and PLU emphasizes it unusually strongly by the triple repetition of “care for other people,” “care for their communities,” and “care for the Earth.” These values and this mission are more important now than ever. Thanks to all Lutes for remaining committed to these values—which are rooted in the 500-year tradition of Lutheran higher education—and for advancing them in our world today.
To strengthen the accomplishment of that important mission, we’ve worked hard to get decision-making closer to where the mission is accomplished with the move to a responsibility-centered budget management model. We’ve also set the stage for a successful comprehensive fundraising campaign and greater alumni engagement. Together, we have strongly advanced our PLU as a “University of the First Rank.”
“Re-forming” is our theme for this quincentennial year of the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation. Now is a good time for taking stock of our collective achievements and thinking about PLU’s next chapter. The work of our university-wide program review—the Joint Committee and related processes—is ongoing through the current semester and beyond. And we continue to build our next fundraising campaign, which is in the second year of the quiet phase and on schedule. This important work of program review and campaign will lay out our next chapter and help PLU position itself for a robust future.
Please give the Interim President and his or her spouse the same support, loyalty, and care that you’ve given Patty and me. And please contribute as you are able to the process of calling PLU’s next President.
I thank the whole Lute family for the honor and privilege of serving as PLU’s 13th President. Patty and I look forward to continued engagement with you all in thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership, and care.
Thomas W. Krise, Ph.D.
President and Professor of English