After spending one year in the role of interim president, Dave Kaufman has been officially selected as the 17th president of Capital University.
The announcement was given outside of Yochum Hall at 10:30 a.m., and it featured speeches by Board of Trustees Chair Andre Porter, along with other Board members. Porter began by listing off the accomplishments and initiatives that the University was able to launch in the past year, such as Project Indigo. He credited Kaufman for leading them through a time of uncertainty, a time that was rife with the challenges of virtual learning and financial stability.
“Dave’s record demonstrated his focus would be on continuing to support faculty, staff, and administrators, along with making student success a top priority at Capital,” Porter said.
After several congratulatory speeches, Kaufman finally stood at the podium. During his speech, Kaufman laid out a plan that he has for ensuring the university’s success in the future. The following goals were developed by Kaufman and the President’s Cabinet:
- Develop an ongoing strategic plan using community input and collaborative efforts from the seminary and law school.
- Transform the University’s business model by forming partnerships that will boost enrollment, promote student success, and ensure the stability of services.
- Implement diversity and inclusion priorities that were developed and approved last year.
- Define and promote Capital’s value proposition while also emphasizing the school’s Lutheran identity.
- Create a trusting and collaborative culture that supports, recognizes, and compensates each individual contributor.
Another talking point during Kaufman’s speech was the importance of restoring interpersonal communication and trust within the University. A major criticism that arose during former President Beth Paul‘s time was a lack of communication and transparency with faculty and staff.
What makes this announcement unique is that Kaufman does not come from the world of higher education. Before taking the job at Capital, Kaufman served as CEO of Encova Insurance from 2013 to 2019. Due to his financial background, the University believed that Kaufman was the best fit for getting them out of financial turmoil.
Originally, Capital was screening two candidates for the president role back in Spring 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the inability to host in-person meetings and events featuring the two candidates, so the University pivoted and decided to find an interim president until things returned to normal.