(Originally posted on The Sojourn’s website on March 27, 2017)
It was announced Friday, March 24, that Dr. Keith Newman, chancellor of IWU’s Marion campus, will start his new position as president of Southern Nazarene University on Aug. 1.
Newman said he has many connections with SNU, as he received one of his graduate degrees from there, his daughter attended the school as an undergraduate student and he served on the board of trustees many years ago. When he was first nominated for this position, he didn’t pursue it. But as he and his wife began to pray about it, and after receiving encouragement from others, he decided he should submit himself to it.
The process was kept very confidential, but he kept in touch with IWU President Dr. David Wright and made sure he was aware of it. Newman said Wright has been very encouraging and supportive during this time.
“Personally, I am grateful for Dr. Newman’s close partnership in recent years and am proud of him as a friend and colleague,” Wright said in a statement to the university. “He and (Newman’s wife, Carolyn) will be sorely missed.”
Starting in June 2009, Newman was vice president of University Relations. In 2011, he took over Dr. Todd Voss’ position as executive vice president. When Wright became president of the university in 2013, Newman became the CEO of Residential Learning and executive vice president of the Marion campus. Last month, his title was changed to chancellor of IWU- Marion.
Newman said he is trying his best to follow God’s calling for him throughout this entire process.
“We talk a lot about life calling (at IWU) and I really believe that. And I don’t believe life calling is necessarily a career or a geographical spot on a map or a particular company or institution,” Newman said. “But I do think that God wires us up in a way and I think God has places that he sometimes will ask us to go and serve and so for the last eight years it’s been Indiana Wesleyan and looking forward to finishing well here, and then excited about what the possibilities might be in Oklahoma City.”
As Newman makes the transition to his new job this summer, he said he wants to thank everyone who has been a part of his time here at IWU.
“Thanks for investing in my life, and thanks for helping prepare me. I don’t think God wastes anything, whether it’s pain we have in our life or achievements that we have, relationships … but I think even in those challenging relationships, that can help prepare us for what’s next,” Newman said. “So as I go to a new assignment, there’s no doubt in my mind that they wouldn’t have offered me this job if I wouldn’t have had the experience of Indiana Wesleyan.”
While he will be an official employee of IWU until the end of June, Newman’s job will be completed next month with commencement. He plans to spend May and June making the transition to his new position in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.