Updated: Matt Olson rehired by Northland

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TylerR's picture

Editor

Is this a circus or a professional college? NIU is doing nothing but harming their reputation and leaving people to wonder what in the world is going on up there. I'm not trying to be malicious, honest! But seriously, what is happening up there?

The termination of Matt Olson, the "Friends of Northland" petition, now the re-hiring of Matt Olson. I would expect this kind of organizational madness from a high school student council. I honestly and sincerely wish NIU the best, whatever they are doing . . .

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?

jcoleman's picture

Video available at: http://new.livestream.com/northlandu/chapel

 

Notable quote: "The executive board has extended an invitation to Dr. Matt Olson to resume his role as our president and continue in the direction in which he has been leading. We believe that this is in the best interest of NIU during this important time of our history. Thankfully, Dr. Olson has humbly and willingly agreed to continue in this position."

jcoleman's picture

TylerR wrote:

Is this a circus or a professional college? NIU is doing nothing but harming their reputation and leaving people to wonder what in the world is going on up there. I'm not trying to be malicious, honest! But seriously, what is happening up there?

The termination of Matt Olson, the "Friends of Northland" petition, now the re-hiring of Matt Olson. I would expect this kind of organizational madness from a high school student council. I honestly and sincerely wish NIU the best, whatever they are doing . . .

 

First, you need to watch the announcement first.

Second, you're evaluating this completely from a human perspective. If you think of the actor as God, is changes your perception. God enjoys revealing that it's all about him and not about us. In this situation, that took revealing in no uncertain terms Matt's humility by putting him in what humanly speaking was an awful situation. But in the tone of conversation that followed [it's all about God and not about us], he could work even more clearly to continue the work begun.

Jim's picture

TylerR wrote:

Is this a circus or a professional college? NIU is doing nothing but harming their reputation and leaving people to wonder what in the world is going on up there. I'm not trying to be malicious, honest! But seriously, what is happening up there?

The termination of Matt Olson, the "Friends of Northland" petition, now the re-hiring of Matt Olson. I would expect this kind of organizational madness from a high school student council. I honestly and sincerely wish NIU the best, whatever they are doing . . .

  • Apple did that with Steve Jobs ... but it wasn't so fast!
  • Steinbrenner with Billy Martin

 

 

Greg Linscott's picture

Watching the chapel recording now. In addition to announcing that Olson has been invited back as president, and has accepted, current chairman Howard Patz said that Daniel Patz (the one behind the Friends of Northland petition) has been asked to become the new chairman of the board, replacing Howard. Howard also explains that the board was supportive of the changes, and that the action to transition Olson from the presidency was over the declining finances.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

TylerR's picture

Editor

I am not trying to be malicious, but at the same time I do have both eyebrows raised at this strange reversal.

Second, you're evaluating this completely from a human perspective. If you think of the actor as God, is changes your perception

Yes, I understand. Perhaps you're correct, but, paradoxically, God's providential hand never absolves men of their own decisions (Acts 2:23). Sure, God can be said to be behind the NIU reversal-reversal. Still, I am left wondering what is going on! Wish them the best.

Caio!

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?

Dan McGhee's picture

TylerR wrote:

Is this a circus or a professional college? NIU is doing nothing but harming their reputation and leaving people to wonder what in the world is going on up there. I'm not trying to be malicious, honest! But seriously, what is happening up there?

The termination of Matt Olson, the "Friends of Northland" petition, now the re-hiring of Matt Olson. I would expect this kind of organizational madness from a high school student council. I honestly and sincerely wish NIU the best, whatever they are doing . . .

 

Tyler,

I see this exactly the opposite as what you've stated. To me this shows an immense humility on the part of the board. Organizations aren't perfect. At times they mess up. A decision like this demonstrates that they are willing to swallow their pride in order to do the right thing - in this case it was to re-instate Matt Olson. 

As a result of this decision our church will continue to support Northland through sending our teenagers to the camp in the summer months. In days ahead I can see us sending students there as well. I'm just one pastor, but I have to believe there are dozens of others out there like me who have been watching this matter, and are now rejoicing in this wonderful news.

 

Dan 

jcoleman's picture

TylerR wrote:

I am not trying to be malicious, but at the same time I do have both eyebrows raised at this strange reversal.

Second, you're evaluating this completely from a human perspective. If you think of the actor as God, is changes your perception

Yes, I understand. Perhaps you're correct, but, paradoxically, God's providential hand never absolves men of their own decisions (Acts 2:23). Sure, God can be said to be behind the NIU reversal-reversal. Still, I am left wondering what is going on! Wish them the best.

Caio!

Why not take them at their own word when they say that they realized that they were wrong? God humbled them, and they submitted.

Our eyebrows should be raised not because human behavior is so strange but because God is so kind as humbling us.

jcoleman's picture

TylerR:

Again, please watch the announcement before evaluating what's happened.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I'll try to make my point clearer:

1. I wish NIU the best

2. I applaud their courageous decision to reverse course on Dr. Olson, if they prayerfully believe it is truly for the best

3. I am happy those who support NIU are heartened by the change

4. I am saying that the fact they made such a momentous mistake in removing Dr. Olson in the first place, only to now re-instate him betrays a crisis of leadership.

5. Dr Olson is now under more pressure to perform than ever, having been fired then re-hired within two weeks. He needs prayer.

 

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?

Shaynus's picture

Tyler, you have very large eyebrows to raise, and they seem to be so high already. How do you raise them any more?

 

 

Jay's picture

jcoleman wrote:
Why not take them at their own word when they say that they realized that they were wrong? God humbled them, and they submitted.

Our eyebrows should be raised not because human behavior is so strange but because God is so kind as to humbling us.

+1

 

"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

TylerR's picture

Editor

They're figurative eyebrows, so they can go pretty high.

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?

x_delete_jhowell's picture

is there a video link out there somewhere?

Todd Himes's picture

jcoleman wrote:

"The executive board has extended an invitation to Dr. Matt Olson to resume his role as our president and continue in the direction in which he has been leading. We believe that this is in the best interest of NIU during this important time of our history. Thankfully, Dr. Olson has humbly and willingly agreed to continue in this position."

THIS is NOT a crisis of leadership.

THIS is leadership in action. True leaders are never too proud to admit when they've made a mistake, and take the necessary, and often hard, actions to correct the mistake.

I have a greater amount of respect for NIU than ever before...

Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.

GregH's picture

Tyler, you are a bit quick to the draw. Unless you know something no one else seems to know, you are not qualified to be making the statements you make. Why not extend some grace instead of your uninformed opinions?

Jay's picture

Ok, I think we've all said enough to poor TylerR.  Let's move on.

"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

Mark_Smith's picture

NIU reversed on their termination of Dr Olson. I watched the chapel service for the record. Nice rock band Wink This begs a few questions:

1) Why did they fire him in the first place? Was it money/fund-raising? If so, and that seems to be reason presented, what has changed to warrant hiring him back?

 

2) If the firing was over money/fund-raising, the timing was atrocious given the seriousness of the music battle. Explanation?

 

3) Is the board endorsing all of the changes (music/majors etc)? It seems they are.

 

4) Most interesting, was there a coup on the board? I kind of smell one...Perhaps some of the "old timers" pushed for Olson to leave. A controversy erupted. The old guys are pushed off, new people are brought on, the younger Daniel Patz takes over the board, and they re-hire Olson.

 

Mark_Smith's picture

What is the "box" that the percussionist is striking in the band?

JoelCS's picture

Dear Concerned Brethren,

I'd like to introduce a German term into the discussion: Denkpause: Duden, the German "Funk & Wagnalls" says Denkepause means: Pause, die jemand bei Gesprächen, Verhandlungen zum weiteren Nachdenken über etwas einlegt. The pause one inserts in discussions,  negotiations for further meditation about something.

NIU has just had a major crisis. (Of whatever sort.) Perhaps this would be a good time for some serious meditation about words, actions, attitudes and consequences within the ranks!

Something went wrong. Some adjustments are needed. It is probably not time for jubilation, or for venting!

Consider (y)our ways! and where they lead! Take a Denkpause!

Joel

 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

One can always use more time to think, and we should often take that time, though we don't do so enough.

(For Joel): As the saying goes - "Denke nie gedacht zu haben..."

Dave Barnhart

TylerR's picture

Editor

Watched the message from the video link above. The remarks were gracious and God-honoring. The man who spoke acknowledged failures to adequately communicate intentions or justifications for the decision to remove Dr. Olson, and admitted it was a mistake. He pledged to correct these mistakes in the future. This is the crisis of leadership of which I spoke.

The events of the past two weeks betray a crisis at NIU, in both leadership and finances. I hope NIU finds it's footing. Dr. Olson has a hard road ahead of him.

Nothing more to say on this thread. I'm NIU'd out.

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?

Greg Linscott's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

What is the "box" that the percussionist is striking in the band?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cajón

I saw one for the first time in a community Christmas concert this last December.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

DavidO's picture

They're kind of intriguing little gadgets.  I looked it up when Bixby mentioned it in a a post. 

Would make a cool woodworking project. 

Charlie's picture

In a parallel universe, Northland's PR team decided to go with an old-school fundy strategy: implausible deniability. "Contrary to malicious rumors by disaffected critics, NIU never fired President Matt Olson, but rather another man with the same name." 

My Blog: http://dearreaderblog.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Jim's picture

Here's the problem they need to resolve. 

  • The Patz Family is the $$$ behind Northland (I commend them for this!)
  • You have the board 
  • And you have Patz family on the board (you would expect that)

As the Daniel Patz FB comment below demonstrates, you have a shadow board. Which makes the "official" board kind of powerless. With a shadow board like this, perhaps they should just rename the school Patz International University.

(There are 2 images below ... not obvious because of white background. The first image is a snip from F/B announcing the Patz family meeting. The second is NOT a part of his F/B post)

 

 

 

Joshua Caucutt's picture

So . . . when are Christians going to dispose of farcical para-church, institutions and instead, be content to simply devote themselves to living as the people of God, the body of Christ - the Church?   

formerly known as Coach C

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