From Board Chair: Update on Presidential Search Committee

Dear Hope College Staff and Faculty:

Today, the Hope College Board of Trustees held a special meeting to approve the selection of a Presidential Search Committee.

Following the full board meeting in October, nominations were sought for committee members to represent the Board of Trustees, Administrative Council, Alumni Board, faculty, staff and student body. These nominations were submitted confidentially to Mary Remenschneider, who provided the lists to the Executive Committee of the board. On Dec. 1, the Executive Committee met and, through prayerful discussion and discernment, approved a slate of committee members to be representative of the many voices that comprise Hope College — diverse in thought, demographics and geography, and united in commitment to the Hope mission. Today, the full board approved the membership of the Presidential Search Committee, as follows:

Suzanne ShierBoard of Trustees – Committee Chair
Kristyn Bochniak ’01Staff 
Dr. Steve BoerigterBoard of Trustees
Clare Da Silva ’19Student Body
Dr. Matt DeJonghFaculty
Dan GordonBoard of Trustees
Dr. Fred Johnson IIIFaculty 
Dr. Gerald PillayBoard of Trustees
Jeff PuckettAdministrative Council
Doug Ruch ’81Board of Trustees
Dr. Sonja Trent-BrownBoard of Trustees
Rev. Scott VanOostendorp ’75Board of Trustees
Dr. Matt Wixson ’08Alumni Board

As a reminder, the charge of this committee is to:

  • Conduct an analysis of the college’s future needs and opportunities, and formulate a prospectus based on the analysis;
  • Generate a strong and diverse pool of qualified candidates;
  • Screen the candidate pool, conduct interviews, organize campus visits and perform due diligence to screen candidates;
  • Keep the board informed of committee progress at critical points throughout the process;
  • Keep the college community informed at key points throughout the process;
  • Provide opportunity for stakeholder feedback prior to making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees; and
  • Make a recommendation of a single candidate to the Board of Trustees, ideally by or before the January 2019 meeting.

Later this month, we will be announcing the membership of the Presidential Transition Committee as well as the search firm that will be assisting Hope with the presidential search process.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you for your continued prayers and support. The trustees are grateful for your commitment to Hope College, our mission and our students. As 2017 draws to a close, we are excited about the year ahead.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas season —


Presidential Search and Transition Process

Dear Hope College Staff and Faculty,

Last week, the Board of Trustees held its annual fall meeting. One of the main discussion points at the meeting was the search for a new president.

The board is committed to recruiting a highly qualified individual to lead the college and ensuring a successful transition of leadership. To that end, the trustees approved a comprehensive presidential search and transition process, and also affirmed the use of a search firm to work closely with the search committee. A transition committee and the search committee will be formed this fall. The search firm will also be selected this fall.

Presidential Transition Committee

The Presidential Transition Committee will provide consistent leadership of the process, from the search through the first year of the new president’s term. It will be made up of trustees and Administrative Council representatives with the charge to:

  • Oversee the successful implementation of the search, transition and onboarding process;
  • Ensure there are opportunities to recognize our outgoing president Dennis Voskuil and welcome the new president;
  • Identify and address issues and opportunities that may impact the transition process;
  • Build relationships between various stakeholders and stakeholder groups; and
  • Maintain communication with various stakeholder groups at appropriate points throughout the process.

Presidential Search Committee

The Presidential Search Committee will be representative of the Hope community and committed to the full extent of its charge. It will be composed of trustee, faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives. The search committee will be responsible to:

  • Conduct an analysis of the college’s future needs and opportunities and formulate a prospectus based on the analysis;
  • Generate a strong and diverse pool of candidates;
  • Screen the candidate pool, conduct interviews, organize campus visits, and perform due diligence to screen candidates;
  • Keep the board informed of committee progress at critical points throughout the process;
  • Keep the college community informed at key points; and
  • Provide opportunity for stakeholder feedback prior to making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, ideally by or before the January 2019 meeting.

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees will select committee representatives from a slate of nominees from each stakeholder group, then send the committee slate to the Board of Trustees for approval in December 2017. Mary Remenschneider, chief of staff, is supporting the search committee, and she will work with each stakeholder group to prepare the slates for the Executive Committee.

During the search process, there will be opportunities for all stakeholders to provide input. So, whether or not you serve on the Presidential Search Committee, your feedback will inform the search for and selection of Hope’s next president.

President Voskuil and Mary Remenschneider will share more information about the search and transition process at the upcoming faculty meeting and staff town hall meeting.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you for your dedication and service to Hope College. We are grateful for your prayers and support as we begin this important next step for Hope.

Spera in Deo,

Karl Droppers
Chair, Hope College Board of Trustees

A Message from Board Chair Karl Droppers

Dear Hope College Staff and Faculty:

As the fall Board of Trustees meeting approaches, I imagine there may be anticipation and curiosity in the Hope community regarding the presidential search process. Indeed, this will be a topic of significant conversation for trustees next week — one that we will enter into prayerfully and diligently.

You can expect to receive a communication from me following next week’s board meeting. Before then, however, I would like you to know the following:

  • The board will not be approving specific individuals to serve on the search committee at this meeting. That will occur at a later date.
  • The board is committed to a process that will both strengthen the Hope community and yield a highly qualified individual to lead the institution.
  • There are many ways to conduct this presidential search. The board’s goal is to follow a process that honors the campus community and positions the incoming president for success.

I have been on campus several times this fall, and each time I have experienced your extraordinary depth of care for Hope and our students. Hope College is a place of inspiration and aspiration, as evidenced by the caliber of your scholarly work and creative performance, your commitment to time-honored traditions and openness to new ones, and your focus on the success and well-being of each person.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you for sharing your talents with Hope College, and for educating and preparing our students to be ambassadors of hope in the world.

Spera in Deo,

Karl Droppers
Board of Trustees Chair

Be A Part of the Campus Master Planning Process!

Next week, the college is hosting three open forums for faculty, staff and students to share ideas and aspirations for how Hope’s facilities and infrastructure can best support our living and learning community, teaching, scholarship, creative projects and performance, and programs that serve our students, employees, and other Hope constituents. These forums are part of a campus master planning process that is being conducted throughout the 2016-17 academic year and are the first opportunities everyone has to get an up close look at the work that is underway, ask questions of the master planning consultants, and share insights and ideas that will inform and shape the long range plan for the development of our campus.

Are there things about Hope’s campus that you absolutely love? Are there things you would love to see changed? Have you thought of things that would make Hope’s campus better meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, alumni, or the Holland community? If you said yes to any of the above, then these forums are for you!

The forums are being held at three different times to encourage as much participation as possible. You are invited to any of the sessions and welcome to attend more than one if you would like. Please feel free to come and go as your schedule allows if you can’t stay for the entire time. The forums will be held on:

Wednesday, October 12
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m – Maas Auditorium

Thursday, October 13
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Maas Auditorium
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Maas Auditorium

The consultants have spent time with small groups of students, employees, and representatives from the Holland community during their previous visits to campus. The information you share during these forums will be used with the feedback from these small group meetings to inform the long-range master plan for Hope’s campus.

We hope you have a wonderful, restful fall break, and we hope to see you at a forum next week!

CMP Committee Cho-Chairs
Kara Slater, Director of the Physical Plant, and Mary Remenschneider

What is Campus Master Planning All About?

Have you heard about the campus master planning process? Do you want to know what’s happening and how to get involved?

Check out this power point presentation with some general information about what campus master planning is all about. CMP Overview.October 2016.

You will also be receiving an invitation to attend one of several campus forums hosted by our master planning consultants next week Thursday, October 13.  Everyone on campus (every student and employee) is welcome and encouraged to attend — this is will be an opportunity to learn more and share your voice in this important process.  More details coming soon!

Update: Campus Master Planning

As you may be aware, the college is engaging in a campus master plan study to identify where the college should focus its resources to meet future demands on facilities and infrastructure for the next ten to twenty years. This study will take place during the academic year and will include several opportunities for you to share your thoughts and ideas in the development of the master plan.

The process is being facilitated by the master planning firm Perkins & Will in partnership with local architects GMBae. We have also formed a committee of faculty, staff, students, and trustees to engage with the consultants on a regular basis, ensure members of the campus community have opportunities to provide input in the development of the master plan, help evaluate, prioritize and understand the information generated through the study, and provide direction for campus-wide communications and opportunities for input. The committee met once in August to review the master planning timeline and the scope of their responsibilities and will be meeting again on Thursday, September 15 with representatives from Perkins & Will and GMBae who are on campus to gather data that will be used to inform future discussions and decision making.

The following individuals accepted President Knapp’s invitation to serve on the committee. We are grateful for their willingness to serve the college in this capacity.

Kara Slater, Director of the Physical Plant (Committee Co-chair)
Mary Remenschneider, Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff (Committee Co-chair)
Kristyn Bochniak, Associate Dean of Residential Life and Housing
Matthew DeJongh, Faculty Moderator and Professor of Computer Science
Lindsey Dood, Chair of the Business and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees
Karl Droppers, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Jason Gomory, Vice President Student Congress
Vanessa Greene, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Culture and Inclusion
Carl Heideman, Director of Process and Innovation, Computing and Information Technology
Greg Kern, Associate Director Admissions
Karen Nordell Pearson, Interim Provost
Scott Travis, Executive Director of Alumni Engagement
Yoli Vega, Director of the Phelps Scholars Program and Assistant Professor of Education
You will receive regular updates from us about master planning. To that end, we have launched a website where you can access information about the master planning process. This website is available from the President’s webpage. We will continue to add information as it becomes available to help keep you informed of the progress and opportunities for you to provide input and get involved.

Thank you for your interest and investment in master planning. We look forward to hearing from you throughout the year!

Kara Slater and Mary Rem.
Committee Co-Chairs

2025 Strategic Plan Approved

We are pleased to share that on April 30, the Hope College Board of Trustees unanimously approved our new 10-year strategic plan.

The 2025 Hope College Strategic Plan represents nearly two years of dedication, hard work and collaboration by hundreds of people in the Hope community. I am grateful  for the many contributions that added to the development of this road map for the coming decade.

Much good work awaits us as we begin to operationalize the strategic plan. I look forward to partnering with you in the exciting years ahead.

With gratitude,


Thank you for your Input!

Dear Hope Campus Community:

On behalf of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, we thank you for the valuable and thoughtful feedback on the draft plan prior to spring break.  The committee recognizes the commitment hundreds of you made by attending sessions, sending suggestions through the online feedback form, and discussing the plan with your colleagues.  We appreciate the hours you invested, and we honor your contributions as an important part of the strategic planning process.


The plan is being modified in meaningful ways based on your feedback.  A final draft will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the beginning of April and may be further revised prior to their meeting at the end of April.  We appreciate your patient engagement in this process, and look forward to the phase of implementation.


It seems there is scarce time to catch our breath as the college races toward end of the academic year and prepares to send another class of graduates to be agents of hope around the world.  We pray for God’s grace and peace to be with you as we move through this important season in the life of the college.



John Knapp and Nancy DeWitt

Strategic Planning Steering Committee Co-Chairs

Strategic Planning Update – Extending the Timeline

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Since late October, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been drafting objectives and key performance indicators for each of the six strategic plan goals unanimously affirmed by our Board of Trustees.  The work has gone incredibly well thus far, and the committee’s highest priority is to complete the process in a way that reflects the college’s collaborative effort to date and produces a thoughtful and deliberate strategic plan.

At the onset of this strategic planning process, the steering committee adopted a timeline to complete a strategic plan in early January.   The committee has determined that the timeline should be extended into the spring in order for the committee to continue their work, provide ample time for the campus to review the plan and have feedback considered before the final draft is presented to the Board of Trustees prior to their spring meeting.   We value community engagement as a hallmark of our strategic planning process and want to continue that through this final stage of writing and refining the plan.  We know that a few extra weeks of planning now will result in a better plan, better implementation, and shared success in the future.

As we enter the final week of the academic year, we want to recognize you for the investment of time and energy you have made in your students, your scholarly work, and your programs over the last several months.  You have been engaging students in their intellectual, spiritual and interpersonal growth, leading programs with distinction and diligence, and creating an environment that supports our students, faculty and staff.  Your efforts are recognized and valued.

Best wishes to you as you finish the semester, and blessings to you and your loved ones this Christmas season.

John C. Knapp, President and Professor

Nancy Dirkse DeWitt, Trustee

Co-Chairs, Strategic Planning Steering Committee