Northwest sent out a press release April 20, naming Vice President of Culture and Police Chief Clarence Green as the new interim president, effective July 1. The decision came just two days after the Board of Regents voted to expedite the selection process. 

Nearly 48-hours after the Northwest Board of Regents voted to expedite the process of naming the interim president, the University sent out a press release announcing Clarence Green, current vice president of culture, will be serving as Northwest’s new leader while the Board searches for a permanent replacement. 

Green will assume the position July 1, when current President John Jasinski’s contract expires.

“Clarence has a long history of distinguished service at the University,” Chair John Moore said in the press release. “He has deep roots in the community and great relationships with students, faculty, staff and alumni. He’ll work closely with those constituencies to keep the University moving forward.”

Green has been at Northwest since 1996 and has served as the vice president of culture since April 2019. In this position he has oversight of the Office of Human Resources, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the University Police Department. 

Being in an interim position is not new to Green as he has also served as the interim vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as the interim vice president of human resources. 

“I look forward to serving Northwest as its interim president during this time of transition,” Green said in the press release. “Northwest is in a position of strength to continue its successful path due to its great students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

He has also served in law enforcement for more than 25 years, spending time as the University police chief. Green has also led presentations and training on leadership, diversity and inclusion, ethics, crisis management and many more. 

The Board expects Green to leverage the University’s current mission and strategic framework, which will not change, the press release said. Northwest will continue its focus on student success, Moore said in the release. 

When it came to the decision of naming an interim president, the voting lines on expediting the process were identical to those who voted on the extension of President John Jasinski’s contract, with the exception of Durbin who did not vote. Regent Deborah Roach and Roxanna Swaney were the only Regents who voted to extend the contract in a closed meeting April 7, while John Moore, Stephen Coppinger, Mel Tjeerdsma and Jason Klindt voted no. 

Roach was the first Regent to vote no on speeding the process of finding an interim, saying they should wait until after the May 4 meeting. Swaney voted no for the same reason. 

“I voted no based on the fact that I think it would be in the best interest of all to wait until after the May 4 meeting, which is going to be open for public comments, to make a determination,” Roach said.

On the other side, some Regents said it was simply time to progress with new leadership, with hopes it would ease some worries people have about the future of the University. 

“I think that we probably need to move forward with going ahead and selecting the interim,” Klindt said. “A part of the reasoning being that I think it will just help with folks to know what’s coming next. You always have some anxiety around these things amongst faculty and others, it always helps to kind of define the plan for moving forward, so I would be for moving forward as quickly as we can here, Mr. Chairman.” 

Tjeerdsma and Durbin agreed. 

“I think it’s time for us to move on,” Tjeerdsma said. 

“I think we’re ready to move forward, and you know, calm some of the angst in where we’re at in the transition,” Durbin said. 

Coppinger, who was having audio issues during the meeting, said he was at a baseball game and asked people to “bear with me.”

“I would agree to move forward as soon as possible to give people some closure,” Coppinger said. “Time to move on. 

Moore said that he talked to senior faculty and staff at the University and said that it was a common theme that there is a lot of desire to find out who the next leader of the University will be so that people can plan accordingly.

Klindt motioned they take a vote  for naming the interim “in the very near future” and just two days after the vote, Green was named as the new interim president. 

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