As Jonathan Raymond retires as president of Trinity Western University, an interim successor has been appointed.
Bob Kuhn, a Trinity alumnus who graduated in 1972, has accepted the appointment of interim president, effective July 1.
His appointment comes after students honoured the outgoing president, just before the end of the academic year.
Raymond served as president for seven years. Students called him J-Ray. It’s a nickname President Raymond is proud of because it indicates a connection to campus life.
Faculty and staff gathered at a luncheon to celebrate his dedicated service. Speakers described his devotion to the mission of the university, his outreach to the community and world at large, and his emphasis on infusing Christ-like values and reflection into the lives of students.
During his tenure, Raymond put forth a strategic direction that sought to further strengthen TWU’s educational vitality and emphasize the development of leaders of character and competence who would aspire to meet the world’s deepest needs through the pursuit of Christ’s truth, reconciliation, compassion and hope.
Also during his leadership, the University established a faculty Senate and official Student Learning Outcomes. Three new schools were launched including the School of Education; the School of Nursing, with its MSc in Nursing; and the School of Arts, Media, and Culture, with a BFA degree in Acting and BA in Corporate Communications.
Innovative graduate courses were also launched including MBAs in Management of the Growing Enterprise, Non-Profit & Charitable Organizations, and International Business; an MA in Leadership program in Beijing; a University Transitions program with the TWU International College and an Executive MBA in Tianjin, China. And TWU’s Spartan volleyball, basketball, and hockey teams moved into brand-new facilities at the Township’s Langley Events Centre.
Raymond was intent on academic quality during his time as president. In a 2006 interview with student newspaper Mars Hill, the newly-appointed leader said, “we’re operating on a principle that bigger is not always better,” and declared that surpluses would be used to maintain and further develop quality. TWU achieved seven consecutive years of A+ grades for Quality of Teaching and Learning in The Globe and Mail Canadian Universities Report – the only university in Canada to accomplish this.
As President Emeritus and Senior Fellow of TWU, Raymond will continue to write on topics of Christian life and leadership and spiritual formation. He will also take on speaking engagements in North America and internationally under the banner of TWU.
Kuhn is ready to take over.
“I’m excited to play a bigger role in helping my alma mater at a time when higher education faces significant challenges. Trinity has played such a huge role in my life, I look forward to giving something back” said Kuhn. “I’m honoured that the board of governors has entrusted me with the opportunity to speak into the life of the university, interacting with its faculty, staff, students, and alumni at this particularly important time.”
A graduate of UBC School of Law and a practicing lawyer for 33 years, Kuhn is no stranger to leadership at Trinity Western. He served as student body president from 1971-72 and, in 2001, Kuhn led TWU’s legal team all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada successfully defending TWU’s Teacher Education Program and overturning contrary decisions made by the BC College of Teachers. In 2012, Kuhn served as president of the TWU Alumni Association.
“Bob Kuhn is a wonderful example of what Trinity Western University is all about,” said president Raymond, who is stepping down in June. “Bob Kuhn is a person of the highest integrity and Christian character, a godly leader devoted to making a positive difference in the lives of others.”
The board is confident that, over the coming months, while the broadly representative president search committee seeks to identify potential candidates for the university’s next leader, the university’s needs will be well served by Kuhn’s proven leadership skills, relationship-building focus, and demonstrated commitment to keeping Christ at the centre of TWU’s mission.