August 15, 2020

BREAKING: Capital Announces New Interim President

At 10:29 a.m., Capital announced that David L. Kaufman, former CEO of Encova Insurance, will be serving as interim president.

This info came in an email written by Bernie Ostrowski, a Board of Trustees Chair member, along with two Capital alumni who serve as members of the Presidential Search Committee, that being Andre Porter and Marti Taylor.

Capital has been in search of a new president since President Beth Paul’s departure in the Fall 2019. The link to our article can be found here.

Originally, two candidates were being considered back in April, but that ended up falling through. The university felt that it would be too difficult for the candidates to properly insert themselves into a virtual Capital community brought on by the pandemic.

An email was sent by Ostrowski and Porter on May 18 regarding the matter. It stated, “While our final candidates had many appealing qualities and impressive experience to bring to this role, they were hampered by the inability to conduct in-person, on-campus interviews that would allow the Capital community to interact with them and for them to get to know the University.”

It seems that until the dust settles, Capital is sticking with Kaufman.

Kaufman’s term will officially begin on July 1, 2020. The university is planning on keeping Kaufman as president for about the next two years, or until the school is confident in their financial stability.

This is an image of Capital's interim president, David L. Kaufman.
David L. Kaufman. Photo Courtesy of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce

To elaborate, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to think about how they’re going to stay financially afloat, especially private schools. If health regulations dictate that students are not able to be on campus, millions of dollars could potentially be lost from room and board.

For schools everywhere, COVID-19 is a menacing entity that’s waiting on the horizon of the upcoming fall semester, and because of that, schools are trying to tighten their defenses.

This is clearly seen in the email, “Knowing that all universities are facing unprecedented operational and funding decisions due to the pandemic, we felt that engaging an outside perspective – and one with a significant track record of executive leadership and strong ties to our community – was a wise choice.”

Kaufman has served as CEO of Encova Insurance from 2013 to 2019.

In an article published on the Encova Insurance website, Kaufman addressed the company with this before his retirement: “Having served over 20 years in executive leadership, I feel this is the right time for a leadership change. I’m proud of all we’ve achieved and the outstanding team we’ve built to lead us forward. As Encova Insurance, we are now a top 20 mutual insurance carrier with over $4 billion in assets.”

With previous experience such as that, the university is hoping that Kaufman can stabilize them until a true president can take over.

The email states, “This will help ensure that the 17th president of Capital University is poised to inherit a University in good standing, and it will allow our stakeholders the opportunity to vet candidates in a method that is more traditional and meaningful.”

Students can attend a virtual town hall meeting with the new president from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3. Check your emails for more details on the Zoom meeting.

  • Robert Cumberlander is the Editor-in-Chief of The Chimes and a junior at Capital University, majoring in Film and Media Production with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

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