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Third Presidential Finalist

The final presidential finalist, Dr. Robert Duffett visited Eastern during a question and answer forum October 11, 2012. Dr. Duffett, an Ohio native, previously served as the President of Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) for twelve years. In this role he presided over DWU’s largest fundraising campaign, which totaled over 40 million dollars. He was responsible for numerous building renovation projects and the creation of three new academic centers.

Prior to his tenure with DWU, Dr. Duffett served as Provost and Academic Dean of Ottawa University, an American Baptist University, and was the Director of Doctoral Studies at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Duffett received his Ph.D. in Organizational Theory/Management and Historical Theology at the University of Iowa after earning his Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

In the question and answer portion of Dr. Duffet’s speech, he illustrated his experience with faith, reason, and justice and how it affected his personal development and leadership. His witness of personal faith transitioned to the academic context of faith within the living hope of Jesus Christ. Dr. Duffett integrates reason as the fundamental truth that informs our knowledge.

“The mission of Eastern University is to take faith and reason seriously which are the two ultimate truths of thought and action. We together embrace the paradox of truth that results in a transformative type of education for undergraduates to be a part of.” Dr. Duffett continued to infuse this type of education as the basis for students to recapture a sense of calling and vocation.

Dr. Duffett teaches regularly about justice and its relation to ethics. “Justice is no more than the application of justification by faith and sanctification that brought to bear on the broken human conditions.” He believes justice looks like feeding the hungry, clothing the sick, and loving our neighbors. Dr.

Duffett concludes by stating, “we are one in Jesus as the presence of the Spirit as we together pursue justice and live in an honest way as we take care of our neighbors.”

The final decision of the new President of Eastern University will be made in the coming months.

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