Trotter Resigns, Hastings College Names New President

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Dr. Phil Dudley had been the president of Hastings College for over a decade when he retired in 2011, but his successor lasted less than two years.

Board of Trustees Chairman Hal Dittmer says they're not sure why President Dennis Trotter, the college's 15th president, gave them his resignation on Friday.

"There were some differences in philosophy, but not so major that we thought it would lead to this transition," says Dittmer.

But Dittmer admits that after discussions at their last regular board meeting a couple of weeks ago, they knew it was a possibility. So when they let Trotter go, they already had an internal candidate in mind.

Don Jackson, an HC alum and current Vice President for Advancement, has agreed to be the college's new leader.

Jackson, who aided in the search for Trotter, says he grew up in Cambridge, Nebraska and always knew he wanted to go to Hastings College.

"Sure, I had to take a deep breath, but the reason I'm here at all is because I'm here to repay my debt to this organization that did so much for me and I care about it that deeply," says Jackson.

Jackson says the fundraising team he's been leading needs to keep moving forward, but so do academics.

"One of the issues in higher education these days is so many students are graduating and they can't find work," says Jackson. "We need to make that a key plank of who we are and offer an opportunity for every student that leaves here, and we can do this."

Jackson says he'll continue with his advancement duties as he transitions into the role of president.

The college says Trotter's contract goes until May, the end of the academic year. Dittmer says while there will be some severance pay after that, he says the cost to the school will "not be significant."


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