Higher Education and Human Resources

College appoints president

August 21, 2017
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Patricia Harris
Patricia Harris. Courtesy Kuyper College

A local college has selected a new president from within the organization after a search that lasted seven months.

Kuyper College said today it has appointed Patricia Harris, the college’s provost since 2013, to replace Carl Zylstra, who had been filling the presidential post on an interim basis for the past seven months. Former President Nicholas Kroeze retired in January.

Harris will take over leadership on Oct. 12.

Matthew Nelson, board chair, said the search revealed Harris to be the most-qualified candidate.

“After an extensive search with much prayer, and after considering various candidates, God made it clear to the board that Dr. Harris was the person uniquely gifted to lead the college into a new era,” Nelson said.

“Dr. Harris has a passion for and strong commitment to Kuyper’s historical mission, an understanding of its current strengths and a strong record of collaborative leadership.”

Harris said she is “grateful” for the board’s vote of confidence in her.

“I count it a humble privilege to be able to serve in this new leadership role to help the Kuyper community fulfill its mission and vision,” Harris said.

Harris’s background

As provost for four years, Harris led the faculty and administered a re-design of the college’s academic structure and programs.

Before coming to Kuyper, she spent 15 years in cross-cultural mission work in the Philippines with Christian Reformed World Missions in partnership with Asian Theological Seminary in Manila.

During that time, in addition to her responsibilities as a professor of biblical studies and Christian education, Harris also served as deputy officer in charge and vice president of administration at the seminary.

Harris earned a doctorate in education from George Fox University in Oregon, a master of theological studies from Calvin Theological Seminary and a B.A. in elementary education from Calvin College.

Kuyper College

Founded in 1939, Kuyper College focuses on training students to “make a difference in God’s world.”

The school offers bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in a variety of professional and ministry fields.

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