POWELL, Wyo. - Paul Prestwich announced today he will resign his position as Northwest College president June 30, 2013, after concluding his current contract.
His departure will end a five-year tenure for the man who has served as NWC’s seventh leader.
Prestwich didn’t indicate his future plans but is committed to fulfilling the expectations of his office during the upcoming year.
“As you might imagine, this was a difficult decision and not one that I made lightly,” Prestwich said. “But the time has come to make plans to move in a different direction at the conclusion of the next academic year.”
Mark Westerhold, president of the NWC Board of Trustees, said, “This resignation was unexpected, but the board continues to support Dr. Prestwich through the remainder of his term and anticipates he will meet his goals.”
Although Prestwich’s tenure hasn’t been without bumps, the list of achievements accomplished under his leadership includes a sizable increase in enrollment, expansion of programming in academics, student life, scholarship support, intercollegiate athletics and over $10 million in improvements to campus facilities.
Over the past three years, NWC’s student headcount grew 28 percent, the largest increase of any college in Wyoming.
“This incredible growth was the result of a great team effort,” Prestwich said. “Thanks to faculty, staff, students and supportive communities, Northwest was able to accomplish a complete turnaround from the early- to mid-2000s, when we were the slowest growing college in the state.”
In addition to setting other institutional records, NWC granted more degrees last year than during any year on record.
Also under Prestwich’s watch, the college built an addition to Simpson Hall, renovated and expanded Hinckley Library, built new broadcast and audio recording studios and a greenhouse, and added eight acres of athletic fields.
Prestwich also oversaw the creation of the Trapper Scholarship program, widely attributed as a major factor in the college’s enrollment increase.
“I’m appreciative of the experience I’ve had as president at Northwest College,” Prestwich said, “I look forward to finishing strong over the next 16 months.”
Westerhold said the board will take on the hard task over the next several months of making plans to search for a new president and to assure a smooth transition for the benefit of the college.
“We — the board and every NWC employee — have a tremendous amount of work to do in the upcoming years,” Westerhold said, “to help the college become a world-class institution. We’ll now be doing it with a new person leading the charge.”