Retired Lutheran College President Appointed to Interim Spot by 4th School

A former Lutheran college president who has served as interim president at three other Lutheran colleges since his retirement in 1998 will serve at another college, according to an announcement Monday.

The chair of Texas Lutheran University's Board of Regents announced that Dr. Robert Vogel has agreed to serve as interim president of the Seguin, Texas-based school beginning July 26.

Since serving as president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, from 1980 until his retirement in 1998, Vogel has been called out to serve as interim president at three Lutheran colleges – Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa; Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa; and Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.

"Dr. Vogel's wealth of experience in Lutheran higher education will be a tremendous asset to TLU," remarked TLU Board Chair Robin A. Melvin in Monday's announcement. "After serving in several interim positions, he understands the critical role of an interim president in moving TLU forward while we conduct a presidential search."

News of Vogel's appointment comes nearly two months after TLU announced the decision of its current president, Ann Svennungsen, to "depart the university for new roles in higher education and church leadership."

Svennungsen, who joined TLU in July 2007, cited professional and personal considerations as factors in her decision.

"This decision is a difficult one for me and for my family, because TLU has become 'home' to us in many ways. But I know how much TLU respects the call to service in its many forms, and I will carry with me the memories of what we have achieved here, together," she said in TLU's May 25 announcement.

The Board of Regents' executive committee has since assumed the president's responsibilities while a search was underway for an interim president.

With the interim position now filled, TLU's Board of Regents will now spend the next several weeks establishing a presidential search committee that will conduct a formal search for the next president of TLU - one of 27 colleges and universities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Vogel, who currently lives in Denver with his wife Sally, is scheduled to move into the TLU president's home the week of Aug. 9.

Notably, Vogel's great uncle, Dr. William Kraushaar, had served as TLU president from 1929 to 1954.