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  • Kriese Appointed Interim President at DWU

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    May 17, 2021
    MITCHELL – The Dakota Wesleyan University board of trustees has appointed executive vice president Theresa Kriese to serve as interim president following the departure of President Amy Novak this summer.
    Kriese has served as executive vice president since 2013. Prior to that, she was vice president for business and advancement at DWU from 2012-2013, DWU’s vice president for business and finance from 2008-2012, vice president of administrative services at Mitchell Technical Institute from 1994-2007, and operations manager for Shopko Stores Inc. from 1985-1994. Kriese holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern State University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Sioux Falls.
    During her tenure, Kriese has project managed the construction of five new facilities: a health and sciences building; a sports and wellness complex; a performing arts theatre; a student dormitory; and a school of business, innovation and leadership, as well as several major renovation projects and facilities updates.
    Throughout her career, Kriese has overseen several administrative areas to include business operations, institutional advancement, information technology, enrollment and admissions, new program development, human resources, athletics and auxiliary operations. Under her leadership, faculty and staff giving has grown and board of trustees participation in the capital campaign reached a new level. New initiatives included a targeted recruitment system; a new budget and fiscal forecasting model; a campus master plan; and strategic planning processes. Under her leadership the university has maintained a balanced budget and increased operating capital, strengthening the university’s financial position.
    DWU board of trustees president Doug Powers said, “We are pleased to appoint Theresa as the interim president as we embark on the search for DWU’s next leader. Theresa has the knowledge and ability to ensure that things continue to run smoothly, and we have confidence that she will direct university operations using her exceptional management skills, energy and enthusiasm.”
    Kriese served on the Mitchell Public Board of Education for two terms, the second as its president. She currently serves as president of the board of directors for Dakota Counseling Institute, is a board member for Holy Family Catholic Church, member of the Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators property and casualty advisory board and is a founding board member of the NAIA Multiple Employer Aggregation Program. She is a past president of the Mitchell Community Scholarship Fund board and a past member of the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Planning Task Force.
    She has also served as a financial consultant for other non-profit entities. The results of this work saved the client considerable financial resources and strengthened the endowment management allowing the entity to continue to meet the organizational mission and avoid closure.  She has served as an adjunct faculty member and is a frequent guest lecturer on personal finance. 
    When asked about her goals for her interim presidency, she stated, “I will work hard to build on the momentum generated by Amy Novak and her team to position the university in a strong and healthy place for the next president. I look forward to working with the search committee to find the best candidate to lead DWU in the years to come.”
    Kriese and her husband, Rick, live in Mitchell. They are the parents of two children and have three grandchildren.
    In addition to her president’s responsibilities, she will work with the search committee and board of trustees as they conduct a nationwide search for the university’s 21st president.
    About DWU
    DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, that is rooted in four values: lifelong learning, leadership development, faith exploration and genuine service to others. For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, go to www.dwu.edu.
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