As the search for a new president of Valparaiso University continues, Colette Irwin-Knott will step up as the Interim President-Elect while current President, Mark Heckler will transition to the role of President Emeritus beginning Sept 1, 2020.

Frederick G. Kraegel, chairman of the board of directors, released a statement on July 29 on behalf of the board regarding Valparaiso University’s presidential search. After disruptions due to COVID-19 halted the search temporarily, the board met on July 24, 2020 to solidify aspects of the Presidential Transition Process. While the search for a new president continues, Irwin-Knott, a 1981 VU graduate and board member since 2009, will take over the presidential role and allow Heckler to adapt to his new obligations as President Emeritus.

President Heckler has served his position for twelve years and is greatly appreciated by the board for his diligence in maintaining the role throughout COVID-19 and the presidential search. To respect his wishes for retirement, the presidential role will become an interim position until a candidate for full time installation has been selected. As President Emeritus, he will assist in fundraising for the Forever Valpo campaign and offer support throughout the presidential transition process. 

Irwin-Knott is a member of the Presidential Search Committee, as well as the Campus Life committee. Additionally, she is chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and is part of the Executive Committee of the Board. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Valparaiso University and has experience in public finance, working specifically with municipal bonds for Indiana schools. The transition of Irwin-Knott to Interim President-Elect and Heckler to President Emeritus will happen simultaneously beginning in September.

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