Olson out at Northland

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SamH's picture

SI hacked?

SamH

TylerR's picture

Editor

If there was an article there, it's gone now. Didn't read it.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jim's picture

Text of post:

Dear Friends,

It has been a great joy for me to serve at Northland for these past eleven years. On Thursday, April 25, 2013, our board of directors determined it to be in the best interest of this ministry to move forward with new leadership. I accept this as a decision from the Lord as he sovereignly works through the authorities placed in my life. I plan to finish this current academic year through to May 11, 2013, doing everything I can to help the board, faculty, staff, and students, toward a healthy transition. I have a great desire to see Northland do well. I would also like to express a very sincere thanks to the Patz family for allowing Diane and me to be a part of what God is doing here in northeast Wisconsin. We look forward to what God has in the future and our hearts continue to burn for God’s glory and the work of the great commission.

Your friend and fellow servant,

Matt Olson
Romans 11:36

Image from Google reader:

Adam Blumer's picture

Yes, there was a printed announcement. I have it copied in my Evernote, but I don't know what's up. Was it posted prematurely? Did he jump the gun? Was it posted in error? I'm not sure if I'm at liberty to share the article if it was pulled. Very odd. 

Never mind. Others have posted it. 

Maybe he'll say something publicly at 10 a.m. (CST): http://new.livestream.com/northlandu/chapel

jcoleman's picture

I sincerely hope that this is just an attempt to remove a lightening rod rather than a change in course.

Jay's picture

I know this is going to be taken harshly, but I think it needs to be said...

*

If this story is true, I hope that all the people who were antagonistic to Olson and the direction of NIU are now satisfied.  Not that I expect that they will be, but they got their wish.  Congrats, guys...you forced a man out of his job.  Nice going! 

Good luck to NIU in finding a new President; I know that I'd keep this particular example in mind if I were candidating for that role.  Maybe there's another Bob Jones type person out there that will be the right guy for the school, but I doubt it.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jay's picture

Matt Olson posted the link on his FB wall, so I doubt it's a fake.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

jcoleman's picture

I watched the stream of today's chapel, and all I can is "wow." Even in leaving Matt Olson is taking great care to direct the focus back to God. Amazing.

DavidO's picture

Jay wrote:
If this story is true, I hope that all the people who were antagonistic to Olson and the direction of NIU are now satisfied.  Not that I expect that they will be, but they got their wish.  Congrats, guys...you forced a man out of his job.  Nice going! 

Yes, a few internet miscreants steer the ship of a whole university.  If that's the case, they have bigger problems than the ones their critics have been alleging. 

 

GregH's picture

DavidO wrote:

Jay wrote:
If this story is true, I hope that all the people who were antagonistic to Olson and the direction of NIU are now satisfied.  Not that I expect that they will be, but they got their wish.  Congrats, guys...you forced a man out of his job.  Nice going! 

Yes, a few internet miscreants steer the ship of a whole university.  If that's the case, they have bigger problems than the ones their critics have been alleging. 

 

Well in 2013, that kind of thing often does happen and there is strong evidence it happened here. Unless Olson made those changes in a vacuum and did not tell the board, they have now reversed a course they approved and tried to control the fallout by getting rid of the lightening rod. If it was not the rabid bloggers that made the difference, what did make the difference? So let them pat themselves on the back for a while. They won a battle though I don't think there is much evidence they are winning the war Wink

I feel for Olson. It appears that he tried to do too much too fast and was too far out in front. I suppose that is what usually happens to the trend-setters. 

DavidO's picture

I think everyone feels for Olson, agree with him or not.  Like you I suspect he thought he surely had the backing of the board to do what he was doing.  Like I said, bigger (institutional) problems at play here. 

 

EDIT: was in response to GregH above.

dgszweda's picture

I listened to his speech, and I believe he nailed it.  First, I don't think Olson wants anyone to feel for him.  This was exactly what the Lord wanted in his life at this time, and to feel any differently is not what he wants.

 

Second, I highly doubt this is a major reversal for what Matt started.  There is no way that he has been doing this in a vacuum for over a year with no involvement of the board or blessing.  We have no idea why this took place, but I can guarantee you there is probably a number of things we have no knowledge about.   It could be that they don't feel he is the right person to take it to the next step, maybe he moved too fast....  We have no idea.  But I would be surprised that the board all of a sudden one year later realized something was happening, and now are taking action.  But that is just my view.

Again, I think his speech was spot on, and probably the best announcement like this that I have ever heard.  I think it speaks to Matt's character.

Dave Doran's picture

I know I may be in the extreme minority here, but I would like us to give serious consideration to what is said in this thread. I understand, sometimes, the value of discussing news items, but I also wonder if the discussion doesn't easily and quickly turn into something less than biblical. I'm thinking of situations where people speculate about things like motives, what is happening or not happening behind the scenes, etc.

Just because the internet serves as the global water cooler where people gather to chat doesn't mean we shouldn't guard our speech. I hope if we ever found ourselves actually at the water cooler and people began sharing info that was speculative, gossipy, or some other form of busybody-ing. we'd object or walk away. It seems like we've had an awful lot of mud-flinging over the past couple of weeks.

At the end of the day, whether you agree with Matt or not, whether you like NIU or not, there are real people with real lives that are in play here. Let's not operate at the level of pagan talk radio or blogs. If it isn't good for the use of edification in order to minister grace, then I appeal to you not to write it. 

DMD

Pastor Doug H's picture

GregH wrote:

...If it was not the rabid bloggers that made the difference, what did make the difference?...

[/quote]

 

The following would have much more influence than bloggers; Alumni, supporting pastors and churches, current student body & their parents...

 

 

Jeff Straub's picture

Dave Doran wrote:

I know I may be in the extreme minority here, but I would like us to give serious consideration to what is said in this thread. 

Hear, Hear! 

Jeff Straub

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I was reading a book called Crucial Conversations last week, and one of the things I thought interesting was our desire to frame what we don't know into 'stories'. If someone walks past us without saying "Hello", or doesn't invite us to an event, or changes churches, or resigns from an office- we begin trying to figure out why, sometimes with very convoluted plots and subplots.

Then when the real explanation is revealed, it is often much simpler, and- let's face it- a lot less exciting than the stories we made up.

I think it's time to pray for a whole lotta folks who need encouragement and wisdom. 

Darrell Post's picture

I would hope this to be the majority here...that whatever is written here would pass the test, "Is Christ pleased with my words, and the way that I speak about brothers and sisters in Christ?"

Gal. 6:2: Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Sean Fericks's picture

John 13:35

 

Will they know we are Christians by our ability to figure out the who, what, when, where, and why at NIU?

Lee's picture

With no knowledge at all of the why's behind this decision by the board, may I offer a rehash of a tangent of mine whether it be BJU, Northland, Liberty, Wheaton, or whoever?

DON'T ALLOW YOUR DETRACTORS DETERMINE YOUR POLICY AND/OR ACTIONS!! 

 

Easier said than done, I fully understand, especially in regards to the business & marketing climate these institutions have to function in.  But there is a lot to be said about setting your course according to what you have determined to be right from Scripture and following that course regardless of who is for you, against you, criticizing you, or whatever actions are being undertaken in your behalf or to your detriment. 

Lee

Greg Linscott's picture

Many here seem to assume that this is a reaction to the changes Olson implemented. It is entirely possible that Northland continues or accelerates the trajectory they have been on. Perhaps the board is reacting, not to the practical changes, but poor management. All we have is a statement from the one being replaced. We don't know what the board's rationale was- we have no statement from them.

I'm not saying that anyone's assumptions are wrong- just that it remains to be seen what comes of all this. This is just the latest event- not the end of the saga.

Whatever happens, matters are quite unstable for them. Depending on how things are managed from this point forward, either the support base or current student base are very much in play here.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

pastorsls's picture

No matter what you might think of Dr. Olson's recent methodology, if you listen to his chapel message of April 29, you cannot help but recognize his graciousness. He continues to point people to our great God.

Steve Snavely

TylerR's picture

Editor

Listened to his last chapel message. It was very gracious and an example for all Godly men to follow who are buffeted by unexpected changes in life. God is sovereign and He is indeed in control of events (Rom 8:28). Best of luck to Matt Olson and his family.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Linscott wrote:

Many here seem to assume that this is a reaction to the changes Olson implemented. It is entirely possible that Northland continues or accelerates the trajectory they have been on. Perhaps the board is reacting, not to the practical changes, but poor management. All we have is a statement from the one being replaced. We don't know what the board's rationale was- we have no statement from them.

I'm not saying that anyone's assumptions are wrong- just that it remains to be seen what comes of all this. This is just the latest event- not the end of the saga.

Whatever happens, matters are quite unstable for them. Depending on how things are managed from this point forward, either the support base or current student base are very much in play here.

Greg is very close to the truth.

 

Jay's picture

Jim, I thought *YOU* wanted to be President of NIU!  Don't you love snow?

 

Biggrin

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jim's picture

Jay wrote:

Jim, I thought *YOU* wanted to be President of NIU!  Don't you love snow?

 

Biggrin

  • Minneapolis has plenty of snow (actually snowfall of Plymouth MN = that of Dunbar, WI). I actually enjoy plowing snow (image below)
  • I tried to persuade my wife to move to Antigo WI  (near where she was raised). We visited last year for a family reunion. My case was this: Housing is cheap, we could retire now, it would be a quiet life, there's a good church there, and we would be close to family. Response ... well let's just say I am still working and living in Plymouth
  • I would be a very good administrator but the Bible colleges want a Pastor-President. Not my thing!

 

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