By Jennifer Watton. Trinity Western University announced today that it has named Bob Kuhn as its President and Vice Chancellor. Kuhn, who has served as the University’s Interim President since July 2013, will be Trinity Western’s fourth President since its inception in 1962.
“After 52 years of growth and miraculous accomplishments, Trinity Western University has found its place as a leader among the ranks of Christian higher education,” Kuhn remarked. “Whether it be in groundbreaking research or by winning championships in elite collegiate sports, TWU has consistently proven that it punches above its weight in transformational university education, maintaining a global impact of significance. I couldn’t be more proud of being an alumnus, and now the president, of such an extraordinary University.”
Kuhn’s appointment to a five-year term follows the unanimous recommendation by the Presidential Search Committee, which conducted a comprehensive search over the past eight-months for the best person to assume the position of President. The committee was made up of a broad representation of TWU constituencies.
“In his role as Interim President, Kuhn has made significant progress in developing a vision of not just what TWU can and will become (as God provides),” said Chair, Board of Governors, Jeremy Funk, “but also how that calling can be achieved.”
When appointed Interim President last July, Kuhn said he was committed to being an encouragement to faculty, staff and students. “My approach is relational,” said Kuhn. “To me, it’s less about the presidency and more about building relationships with the broad spectrum of constituents that form the Trinity community.”
The time he spent gaining insight and knowledge from students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni culminated into the development of a draft strategy framework —the New Era—that outlines the way forward for the institution. He announced the New Era vision to friends and supporters at TWU’s 2013 Christmas in the City gala.
“As the Board of Governors, we are eager to see how [the New Era] vision for growth and sustainability can further draw the TWU community together,” said Funk. “In addition to this vision, Bob is extremely passionate about the mission and ministry of TWU, which we see as vital for effective leadership.”
In the midst of some significant political and social challenges to TWU’s core identity as a Christian institution of higher learning, and with growing tension within Canadian society, Kuhn has proven to be a case of the right person, in the right place, at the right time. “His life experience, professional, community, and alumni contacts, and collaborative and relational leadership style are what TWU requires at this point in its institutional-life,” said Funk. As interim president, Kuhn has not only infused the TWU campus with hope and encouragement, he has also lead the legal and very public battle over the University’s proposed law school with strength, compassion, and grace.
“We desire to see TWU remain faithful in its divine calling of developing godly Christian leaders for the various marketplaces of life,” said Funk. “We are confident that Bob Kuhn, a Trinity Western alumnus (’72) and TWU’s fourth president, will lead Canada’s premier Christian university into a new era of profound national and global impact.”
The inauguration ceremony for TWU’s fourth President will be held in September 2014 during Alumni Weekend.
A graduate of UBC School of Law and a practicing lawyer for over 33 years, Kuhn is no stranger to leadership at Trinity Western. He served as Student Body President from 1971-72 and, in 2001, Kuhn led TWU’s legal team all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada successfully defending TWU’s Teacher Education Program vs. the BC College of Teachers. In addition to writing regularly for various award-winning publications, Kuhn has lectured throughout Canada on a broad array of legal topics for numerous groups, such as the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia; the University of British Columbia; Institute of Chartered Accountants; and the Provincial Court Judges of British Columbia.
In 2012, the TWU Board of Governors conferred on Kuhn an honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of his service to Canada and to the University, which has spanned over three decades and contributed to the leadership of each of TWU’s three previous presidents. Born in Vernon, British Columbia, Kuhn is married to Renae, also a Trinity alumnus (‘72), and they have three adult children and one grandson.
Previously Submitted. By Jennifer Watton. The Trinity Western University Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Bob Kuhn, a Trinity alumnus (‘72), long-time supporter of the University and Chair of the Leadership Advisory Counsel for the School of Business, has accepted the appointment of Interim President, effective July 1, 2013.
“I’m excited to play a bigger role in helping my alma mater at a time when higher education faces significant challenges. Trinity has played such a huge role in my life, I look forward to giving something back” said Bob Kuhn. “I’m honoured that the Board of Governors has entrusted me with the opportunity to speak into the life of the University, interacting with its faculty, staff, students, and alumni at this particularly important time.”
A graduate of UBC School of Law and a practicing lawyer for 33 years, Kuhn is no stranger to leadership at Trinity Western. He served as Student-Body President from 1971-72 and, in 2001, Kuhn led TWU’s legal team all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada successfully defending TWU’s Teacher Education Program and overturning contrary decisions made by the BC College of Teachers. In 2012, Kuhn served as President of the TWU Alumni Association.
“Trinity Western serves a unique and important role in the pluralistic landscape of Canada—and it performs that role with distinction,” said Kuhn. “I can’t think of a more important educational institution in the country in terms of tangibly defining Christian higher education. The University’s contribution to the dialogue about academic excellence and religious freedom in higher education constitutes a valuable part of Canadian culture.”
In 2012, the TWU Board of Governors conferred on Kuhn an honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of his service to the University that has spanned over three decades and contributed to the leadership of each of TWU’s three presidents,. “Bob Kuhn is a wonderful example of what Trinity Western University is all about,” said President Jonathan S. Raymond, who is stepping down in June. “Bob Kuhn is a person of the highest integrity and Christian character, a godly leader devoted to making a positive difference in the lives of others.”
The Board is confident that, over the coming months, while the broadly representative President Search Committee seeks to identify potential candidates for the University’s next leader, the University’s needs will be well served by Kuhn’s proven leadership skills, relationship-building focus, and demonstrated commitment to keeping Christ at the centre of TWU’s mission. By relying on the existing administrative team to manage the day-to-day workings of the University, the Interim President role will enable Kuhn to continue part-time with his legal practice at Kuhn LLP.
Kuhn says he is committed to being an encouragement to faculty, staff and students, as well as enlisting alumni and financial supporters to find creative ways to reengage with the University community. “My approach is relational,” said Kuhn. “To me, it’s less about the presidency and more about building relationships with the broad spectrum of constituents that form the Trinity community. I want to hear from people who have a desire to help TWU remain what it is called to be—a premiere Christian university that is passionately committed to developing godly Christian leaders for the marketplaces of life. I look forward to listening to faculty, staff, students, alumni, financial supporters, and parents.” Kuhn will also represent the University in its relationships with external organizations and governmental agencies.
A partner with Kuhn LLP for 15 years, he has been practicing law since 1980. In addition, he has served as a member or Chairman on the boards of numerous charities, including Insight for Living, Arrow Leadership Ministries, English Language Institute of China, Hope Adoption Services, and the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. Born in Vernon, British Columbia, Kuhn is married to Renae, also a Trinity alumnus (‘72), and they have three adult children and one grandson.
Trinity Western University is a Christian University of the arts, sciences, and professions, legislated by British Columbia to serve the public. Recognized for quality, TWU is consistently ranked among the top two universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the National Survey of Student Engagement; holds three Canada Research Chairs; wins National Championships in CIS sports; and emphasizes experiential learning to prepare graduates to make a global impact. TWU offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 16 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. A vibrant community committed to educating the whole person, TWU has been developing leaders of character and competence for 50 years.