An Update from Northland’s Board & Administration

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In 1976, Paul Patz founded Northland International University for the mission of equipping men and women to live out the Great Commission around the world. Over the last 37 years, we have seen thousands of alumni sent out across the globe, and we are just as committed today as the day we began this mission.

Over the last eleven years, Dr. Matt Olson has led NIU to achieve accreditation and forged a new academic vision. While we supported the overall direction of his leadership, it became evident to us that Dr. Olson and the board struggled to lead the University towards a strong financial footing. For this reason, the board terminated his employment on April 25, 2013. We acknowledge that we should have handled this situation in a very different manner. We should have communicated to everyone involved in a more clear and timely manner. Because we didn’t, some people were hurt and confused. We humbly apologize for this and would ask for your forgiveness. In the future, we are committed to doing better.

Since then, as a board, we have met, prayed, and discussed our situation and the future direction of Northland.  After careful reflection, we have made some important decisions. 

First, we have decided to extend an invitation to Dr. Matt Olson to resume his role as our President. Thankfully, Dr. Olson has humbly and willingly agreed to step back into this position.

Second, we have asked Daniel Patz to follow in the steps of his grandfather Paul Patz and uncle Howard Patz as the new chairman of the board. Since Daniel values the authority found in his local church and the relationships in his family, he is resolved to consult and pray with his elders and family before making a decision to accept this position.

Finally, as we look to the future, we have voted to adopt the historic New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith from 1853 as a provisional statement of faith. Our president, board of directors, and Bible faculty wholeheartedly affirm this statement. However, we also have a team working to build on this foundation to create a statement of faith that includes Northland’s institutional distinctives.

We ask for your prayers and a renewed commitment to partner with Northland in the coming days and months. Psalm 115 says, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” We do not want Northland to be a place where any administration, faculty, staff, or students receive glory. Our prayer for Northland is that it will continue to be an institution that serves the local church and where the light of the knowledge of God’s glory is on display in the face of Jesus Christ.

Published Date: May 11, 2013