After a nationwide search process, the 17-person board of regents of Concordia University Texas announced its unanimous decision to name Dr. Donald Christian the institution’s next leader, effective August 1. Announced today, Christian will follow Dr. Thomas Cedel, who is retiring after more than a decade of leading Concordia, one of the region’s fastest-growing universities.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for Tom’s leadership over the last 12 years,” said Keith Weiser, immediate past chairman of the Concordia board. “Further, we are fortunate to have someone with Don Christian’s strong capability and leadership skills to take the helm of the university and build upon the remarkable momentum we have going.”
During Cedel’s tenure, Concordia moved in 2008 after 82 years on a 23-acre campus in Central Austin to its current home, a 389-acre property in Four Points.
Additionally, Concordia experienced tremendous gains in undergraduate and graduate-level admissions, growing from 1,073 students in 2002 to nearly 2,600 students in 2013; increased fundraising; saw programmatic growth, including the additions of a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing program in 2008 and Masters of Business Administration program in 2010, among others; enjoyed ever-increasing prominence of faculty members; and saw unprecedented athletic success.
“It has been a privilege to serve as Concordia University Texas’ leader during these years of exceptional growth and change,” Cedel said. “It gives me great comfort to know that the university will continue to advance its mission of developing Christian leaders and to prosper under Don Christian’s leadership.”
The board of Concordia has given Christian the title of chief executive officer. Christian will have all the responsibilities that Cedel had as president.
“We wanted to give Dr. Christian a title that more accurately captures a 21st Century university’s need for leadership focused on academic excellence coupled with a business acumen that provides for a strong and sustainable future,” said Albert Carrion, board chairman.
“Working with Tom for almost a decade has been a blessing, and it has prepared me well for this position,” Christian said. “I have the institutional familiarity and understanding of Concordia’s culture and mission that allows me to build on the solid foundation laid by Tom Cedel. It’s an honor to accept this position.”
Christian has served as dean of the Concordia College of Business since fall 2005. Since then, he has doubled enrollment of the Bachelor of Business Administration program, launched the Concordia MBA in 2010 and provided direction in creating the required leadership curriculum that is used across the campus. Christian has engaged the community in the growth of the College of Business by bringing together multiple program advisory boards, establishing a monthly speaker series that highlights Central Texas leaders and partnering with multiple entities that provide real-world experiences for Concordia students.
Christian teaches leadership and management, focusing on developing the critical and creative thinking process for students.