Dr. Tom Middendorf will be Trevecca Nazarene University’s next provost and senior vice president, University President Dan Boone announced today. Middendorf was appointed by the Trevecca Board of Trustees during their spring meetings last week, March 14-15.
Middendorf, who currently serves as Trevecca’s associate provost and dean of academic and student affairs, will begin his duties on July 1. He will fill the vacancy left by Dr. Steve Pusey who announced his retirement to the campus community last week.
“I’m extremely humbled by this appointment from the standpoint that the Board of Trustees and my colleagues at Trevecca would have such trust in my ability,” Middendorf said. “I realize that it’s a tremendous responsibility, and, to be honest, there’s a bit of anxiousness that comes with the magnitude of this assignment. I want to honor God first and foremost, but also honor the trust of Trevecca’s Board, as well as that of the administrators, faculty and staff.”
Boone highlighted Middendorf’s experience in Christian higher education as well as his love for the University.
“Dr. Middendorf is a veteran leader in Christian higher education with a strong set of skills for the work of provost and senior vice president,” Boone said. “His deep faith, work ethic, and love for Trevecca makes him a fit for the culture. His expertise in academic leadership make him a fit for the task at hand.”
For the past year, Middendorf has worked alongside Pusey in a transitional role. The outgoing provost, who spent a total of 27 years overseeing academics at Trevecca, is pleased by Middendorf’s selection.
“I am proud of Tom and confident he is going to be an outstanding provost here at Trevecca,” Pusey said. “He is exceptionally well-qualified and has the character and skills necessary for success in this position. The academic and student development programs of the University will be in great hands under Dr. Middendorf’s leadership.”
Middendorf is humbled by Pusey’s praise and says he wants to honor his mentor as Middendorf steps into the chief academic officer role.
“I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving beside Dr. Pusey for the last five years,” Middendorf said, referring both to their work in Trevecca’s academic affairs as well as the proximity of their offices. “I’ve had a really good teacher and mentor, and I just want to honor what he has done.”
Since returning to his alma mater in 2008, Middendorf has served the University in a variety of roles. He played a pivotal role in the development of the Center for Leadership, Calling and Service and served as the director of Trevecca’s master’s program in organizational leadership before taking on positions in academic affairs, serving as the associate vice president of academic services from 2014-2017 and the associate provost and dean of academic affairs from 2017-2018.
In his new role, Middendorf hopes to build on that foundation.
“Having experience at another institution and being within the Trevecca culture for quite some time really helps me to think more globally,” Middendorf said. “Having a background in student development helps me to see the student perspective and gain a better understanding of how to invest in our students and sustain a student-focused organization. My recent years on the academic side have allowed me to develop relationships with faculty and understand their heart and passion for students. It enhanced my view of how vital it is to focus on mentorship, mission, and student learning. Combined, I believe I have a total perspective, both inside and outside the classroom.”
In addition to his work at Trevecca, Middendorf spent eight years at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. There, he served as the associate director of community life, resident director and associate dean for student development.
Middendorf holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Trevecca and a master’s in professional counseling at Olivet Nazarene University. He earned his doctorate in ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University in 2010.
In 2012 and 2013, Middendorf was recognized as the recipient of the Nashville Emerging Leader Award Top 5 for Education. He has participated in a number of conferences and training opportunities including The Council for Independent Colleges Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission Program and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) Future Executive Training Conference.
He and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Marley and Asher. They are active members of Grace Church of the Nazarene.