Dr. Thomas Tredway retired in 2003 after 28 years as president, leaving a legacy of:
campus development (many new buildings including the new library);
growth in the endowment from $4 million to $72 million;
An improved faculty in terms of size (full-time faculty grew from 113 to 141)
professional preparation (faculty holding a terminal degree rose from 64 percent to 91 percent);
gender diversity (the percentage of women faculty increased from 18 percent to 38 percent);
a decrease in the the faculty:student ratio from 18:1 to 12:1; and
an improved academic profile of entering student classes (the median ACT score rose from 24.1 in 1991 to 26.1 in 2003).
The Board of Trustees search announcement called for an individual with a “passion for people, personal warmth and interpersonal skills such that the new president will relate comfortably to faculty, staff, students and alumni, and be accessible to them” and “the ability to involve all constituencies in planning and to form a consensus.” Steven C. Bahls began as Augustana's eighth president on July 1, 2003. Having started his career in corporate law, Bahls moved to academia and, immediately prior to joining Augustana College, he served as dean of Capital University Law School, the only law school affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
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