Kuyper College President Nicholas V. Kroeze Announces Retirement

September 1, 2015

Kuyper College President Nicholas V. Kroeze Ed.D., has announced his plan to retire from the College in early to mid-2017. Kroeze, 63, informed the College Board of Trustees of his decision at a meeting last week and faculty and staff at a meeting held today.

“After 22 years of service, it is healthy for the institution to have fresh leadership in developing a new long-range strategic plan. We have accomplished most of the goals we have set for the College during my tenure,” said Kroeze. “We have accomplished much together as Kuyper has grown to achieve a respected position in our West Michigan community and in the broader higher education community. We have affirmed the College’s historical roots and purpose while making application of those more contemporary to today’s society. The trajectory of the College is positive and I have counted it a privilege to be part of charting and navigating its course.”

Kroeze explained to the Board that his decision to announce his retirement from the presidency, at this time, will allow the College sufficient time to organize, plan and conduct a search for his successor, thus providing the best opportunity for a smooth transition to a new president.

Dr. Kroeze joined Kuyper College, then Reformed Bible College, as its fourth president in 1995, coming to Grand Rapids from Dordt College where he was vice president for student life.

Kroeze has led Kuyper through changes in infrastructure, new programs and organizational enhancements. Among accomplishments achieved under his presidency are:

  • Leading the change in governance from an association model to a college model with a self-governing board;
  • Developing an intentional movement to enfold a more diverse student body, employee, board and general climate of the college
  • Repositioning the College, including changing the name from Reformed Bible College to Kuyper College;
  • Creating innovative collaborative programs with Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary;
  • Achieving College reaccreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, Association of Biblical Higher Education, and Social Work program accreditation with the Council on Social Work Education;
  • Securing funding commitments to establish endowed chairs for the Music and Worship Program and the Business Leadership Program;
  • Reinforcing the College’s experience-oriented education through required internships;
  • Launching a distance education program to provide flexible delivery of new and existing programs;
  • Developing additional on-campus dorm and learning communities while acquiring adjacent properties to ensure flexibility in future planning;
  • Increasing known planned giving expectancies from $9 million to $22 million;
  • Increasing endowments from $2.2 million to $8 million; and
  • Developing College facilities into resources used by various community groups.

“President Kroeze has provided outstanding leadership and helped to provide a strong foundation for the College’s future,” said Jacquelyn Bolt, Kuyper College alumna and chair of the Kuyper College Board of Trustees. “His commitment to planning has moved the College forward on many fronts; in the development of new and innovative programs, in leading the College through reaccreditation and in exercising sound fiscal stewardship. Just as important, his care for people has encouraged a vibrant learning community where students are being equipped for service by committed faculty who mentor students and model Christian excellence in and out of the classroom.”

Bolt noted the College will be entering a new long-range planning cycle in the next year. “President Kroeze’s timing of his decision and retirement date will allow our Board of Trustees the time to plan and conduct a search for his successor providing a smooth and seamless transition to a new administration.”

In the coming months, Bolt affirmed that President Kroeze will continue his work with the board and provide leadership for the College. The Executive Committee of the Board is expected to create a Transition Team in the coming weeks.