Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., has named its next president with the selection of Dr. Kent Ingle of Washington state.
Meeting in special session Wednesday to consider their Presidential Search Committee’s recommendation, the Southeastern Board of Regents interviewed Dr. Ingle in the morning and then voted to elect him in the afternoon. Their action caps a 20-month search that the Board search committee conducted with the help of SIMA International, an executive search firm.
Dr. Ingle, 48, currently dean of the College of Ministry at Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash., is scheduled to begin serving his term as president of the central Florida private, liberal arts school on February 1. Northwest, like Southeastern, is one of 19 U.S. colleges and universities that are affiliated with the Assemblies of God USA. Together with its international organizations, the Assemblies of God is the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination, and Southeastern University is its largest institution of higher education.
Dr. Ingle spent Tuesday touring the university and talking with its administration, faculty, staff, students, as well as some local business leaders. Following Wednesday’s vote, those university groups seemed well pleased with his selection and excited about what they anticipate will be great days ahead under the Ingle administration.
The Rev. Wayne Blackburn, a member of the Board of Regents who was recently asked to chair the Presidential Search Committee, was very pleased with the selection of Ingle. “This (recommendation) came about after grueling interviews and expansive evaluations by the Search Committee and SIMA,” said Blackburn, pastor of Lakeland’s Victory Church and a Southeastern University alumnus. “Dr. Ingle surfaced as a credible candidate with a vision for the future, the academic credentials and an understanding of the university system, and a heart for students. It became clear that he was the person who could best lead Southeastern University into the future. I believe that, after Dr. Ingle familiarizes himself with Southeastern and its faculty, staff and students, he will move forward with a vision plan that will lead us toward an even higher level of excellence.”
Dr. Ingle has been a Northwest dean since 2004 and an ordained Assemblies of God minister since 1988. He went to Vanguard University of Southern California to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and a master’s in Theological Studies; he earned a doctorate in Ministry from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Mo.
Dr. Ingle’s experience includes eight years as a college professor and 15 years of pastoral leadership to two congregations – one in Los Angeles and the other in Chicago.
Dr. Ingle will take charge of the 75-year-old private, liberal arts school which Acting President Charles Kelly recently described as “strong in every way – academics, spirituality, finances, enrollment, personnel, students, alumni, community support, and campus development.” During the past 10 years, student population nearly tripled, numerous academic courses and programs were added to the curricula, and the 87-acre campus underwent a massive upgrade. Last spring, the university graduated its largest class ever; 388 students received bachelor’s and master’s degrees at commencement.
During the past two years, while the country was experiencing a severe economic downturn, Southeastern fared remarkably well. For example, the university concluded its most recent fiscal year with an increase in total net assets from operating activities of close to $1.7 million. Additionally, development of the campus master plan has continued; last spring, Southeastern completed a $3 million project that improved, widened and beautified the road that borders the campus’s west side and passes its front entrance. There are plans for other large projects, as well.
Enrollment has remained remarkably steady. While many other private colleges and universities are showing significant decreases in enrollment, Southeastern’s fall 2010 semester enrollment was 2,867, only 83 students, or 2.8 percent, down from the previous year’s fall enrollment.
After Dr. Ingle’s selection as president Wednesday, Dr. Kelly, a Southeastern alumnus and longtime member of the Board of Regents, said he was delighted by the committee’s recommendation and the board’s approval. He added that it was a “wonderful privilege and high honor” to have been of service as acting president during the transitional period.
Dr. Ingle and his wife, Karen, have three teen-age children who were adopted from Romania.
Southeastern University has 44 academic programs that lead to bachelor’s degrees and eight to master’s degrees. For more information, call (863) 667-5000 or visit the website at www.seuniversity.edu.