Dr. Todd Williams Celebrates 10 Years as University President

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2018 marks 10 years since Dr. Todd Williams took on the role of Cairn University president. However, he has faithfully served the Lord and the students, faculty, and staff of Cairn University for over 20 years.

During his inaugural address in 2008, Dr. Williams stated, “The University has stood firm, but has never stood still.” In 2016 Cairn launched Forward: The Campaign for Cairn University, a three-year capital campaign to raise funds for the development of new academic programs, scholarships, community gathering spaces, and an athletics complex. The campaign tagline? “Standing firm, but not standing still.”

In the 20 years that Dr. Williams has served at Cairn, he has embodied this tagline as a committed leader and visionary. Dr. Williams has always sought out new initiatives, opportunities, and relationships to extend Cairn’s reach, further its legacy, and give glory to God. During his time at the University, he led the charge to revise the University mission statement and change the name to Cairn University. Both of these thoughtful and strategic decisions accurately convey the University’s purpose and expand its influence and opportunities. Dr. Williams also supported the expansion of academic offerings at Cairn with the creation of online graduate degrees and new undergraduate programs in high-demand fields.Since 2016, the University launched over 60 new programs, including Arabic, computer science, criminal justice, graphic design, healthcare management, information systems, politics, pre-med, pre-physical therapy, and sports management.

Committed to offering an affordable, biblical education to students all over the world, he continues to expand the availability of Cairn’s education through strategic partnerships with schools and businesses around the world. We thank the Lord for Dr. Williams and his teaching and vision for the University, his care for the Cairn community, and his dedication to educate students. We pray for his continued wisdom as he leads Cairn University to walk a different path.

Here is what some Cairn University faculty and friends have to say about Dr. Williams.

“I am grateful to the Lord for Dr. Williams’ ministry at Cairn, as president for 10 years and as a professor and academic leader for many years prior. He has consistently exhibited perceptive and dedicated institutional leadership, but what has struck me the most is his concern for individuals—especially his abiding love for the students. This full-orbed interest in the students animates his decision-making and serves as a model to all of us.”  –Dr. Jonathan Master, dean of Cairn’s School of Divinity

“In the 10 years that Dr. Williams has served as president of Cairn, he has become a leading voice in managing change. I believe—“for such a time as this”—God brought him back to lead Cairn. While many Christian colleges and universities are in crisis across the country, Dr. Williams has the ability to wisely challenge the status quo and explore new options that will honor the Lord and continue the mission of the University.” –Elizabeth Mason Givens, secretary of Cairn’s Board of Trustees

“Dr. Williams has been president during a time when change is required, and extraordinary insight, courage, decisiveness, and tenacity are essential to lead through this change while still remaining true to our mission. I believe the Lord put Todd in place “for such a time as this” and I am grateful that he has continued to be faithful to that calling.” –Betty Jane Hess, chair of Cairn’s Board of Trustees

“Todd fulfills the mission of the University in his own life—he is the most biblically minded person I know. With his wisdom, leadership, and guidance he has served the Lord and Cairn extremely well, and we are fortunate to have him as our president.” –Brian G. Toews, provost

“Leadership discussions involving individuals often focus on the style the person exhibits in leading change. While the responder and manager are both highly functional change agents the “Initiator” is noted as a person of strong core beliefs, with clear long range goals and the ability to instill in others strong expectations. It has been my pleasure to work alongside Todd Williams in his ten years of presidential leadership. He has celebrated our past, sustained our current mission and strives to lead us forward with the style of an Initiator. Cairn is moving “Forward” with a capital campaign and a new strategic plan. Dr. Williams is well equipped to lead us forward and equip us for the calling we have in God’s work.” –Scott Cawood, VP of student affairs and administration


To learn more about Dr. Williams, visit cairn.edu/president. You can also read his published articles on his blog, president.cairn.edu.

Saya Lee ’14/G’18 is the Assistant Director of Marketing at Cairn. She can be reached by emailing slee@cairn.edu.