Fred Moore, president of Buena Vista University since 1995, will resign from that position, effective June 30, 2017.
In announcing his resignation to the University’s Board of Trustees, Moore cited personal reasons related to the ongoing care of his adult son, Stephen, who has autism. Moore will be relocating to Florida to join his wife, Susan, and be closer to the couple’s son, who has lived in a special-care facility near Orlando for the past three years.
“The decision to leave BVU has been more than difficult; it has been gut-wrenching,” Moore said. “I love this university and what it does for students and the broader community.”
“Serving as president,” he added, “has been one of the greatest privileges of my career. I will always remember our time here fondly, but Susan and I must take the steps necessary to make sure our son receives the care that he needs. Medicaid funding rules require that we live in Florida.”
Moore, the 17th president of BVU, will join AGB Search, a nationally recognized firm that specializes in higher education executive searches, in July 2017. He will move to Florida at that time.
“In the 21 years that Fred Moore has been president of Buena Vista University, he and his team have made BVU what it is today: a very high-quality institution with an outstanding local, state and national reputation,” said Dr. Norm Nielsen, chair of the Board of Trustees.
“The accomplishments are many, from elevating the quality of academic programs to expanding the number of remote degree-completion sites and developing an outstanding online distance learning program,” he added. “Under Fred’s leadership, BVU has strengthened its fiscal foundation, built a healthy endowment, and elevated its fundraising efforts.
“We’ve also celebrated major additions and renovations of physical facilities at the Storm Lake campus, making it one of the most attractive and functional private college campuses in the nation.”
During Moore’s tenure, BVU has achieved several important milestones that have firmly established it as an innovative institution for a growing number of undergraduate students and adult learners. Under his leadership, the University has:
- Strengthened its position in independent academic quality rankings;
- Established seven new degree completion sites for working adults, as well as multiple online, distance learning and face-to-face academic programs;
- Raised more than $100 million in philanthropic support for capital projects, student scholarships and programming, faculty development and endowed faculty chairs — including conducting two of the three largest fundraising campaigns in BVU’s history and securing gifts of $27 million for the Estelle Siebens Science Center and $9.7 million to build the Lamberti Recreation Center and renovate Siebens Fieldhouse;
- Achieved 21 consecutive balanced budgets, doubled the endowment to $125 million, and maintained an “A” credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, placing the University in the top tier of Iowa private colleges; and
- Completed new construction and/or significant renovation of 24 facilities, including two LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certified buildings (the Estelle Siebens Science Center and the Pierce-White residence halls).
“All of these measurable accomplishments show outstanding achievements,” Nielsen noted, “but I believe what is most significant is that Fred has led the university with total transparency. This has led to a very cohesive team of outstanding faculty, administration, staff and trustees, all with the aim of serving students in the best way possible.”
Moore was instrumental in guiding BVU through a comprehensive priority-setting process in 2015. The process ― tied to a new strategic plan, revised mission and vision statements, and a new set of institutional values ― yielded $3 million in annual budget saving to redeploy to support new strategic imperatives and positioned BVU for continued strength in the face of mounting economic pressures on small colleges and universities.
“This university is strong,” Moore said, “but we still have a number of important challenges that remain, given higher education’s changing landscape.”
“I pledge to make this last year at BVU a productive one. I will work hard until my last day to lead our beloved institution. I also pledge to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership and to assist the new president in any way appropriate.”
Moore, an attorney, holds J.D. with Honors, M.B.A., and B.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to his service to BVU, he has been praised for his professional and civic engagement activities.
He has served on several regional and national boards and commissions. He was appointed to the Access Education Commission by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa College Student Aid Commission by former Iowa Governor Chet Culver. During his service on the College Student Aid Commission, Moore has advocated for the Iowa Tuition Grant, which provides tens of millions of dollars for needy Iowans attending the State’s private colleges.
He also was appointed to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Iowa Learns Council by former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. He served as chair of the boards of directors for the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Iowa Campus Compact and the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference President’s Council.
Additionally, he has served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and the Meta Financial Group, a publicly-traded financial services company.
Moore was awarded the Governor’s Volunteer Award in 2006. The award recognizes and honors the commitment, service and time of volunteers who contribute to meeting community challenges and help make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family.
The Board of Trustees has retained the services of a leading executive search firm to assist with the hiring of BVU’s next president. The firm has been retained for several past executive searches at the university. An internal search committee will be named in the weeks ahead.