{CAMPUS TODAY} at Roberts

Happy Retirement and May God Bless Provost Zwier

By Donna McLaren ’99

Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord ... make the most of every opportunity for doing good.” (Ephesians 5: 10, 16)

P12_01.jpgRobert Zwier retired on May 15, 2014, after seven years of faithful service as Roberts’ Provost. Zwier spent more than 35 years in higher education. Prior to joining Roberts in 2007, he was provost of Malone College in Ohio. Zwier also worked as vice president for academic affairs at Iowa’s Northwestern College, where he taught for nine years before being named vice president for academic affairs in 1988. He held that post until 1999, when he became vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Christian University.

Zwier grew up in Holland, Mich., and received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He earned his doctorate and master of arts degrees in political science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

As Provost of Roberts, Zwier was second in command, responsible for providing leadership in all areas of academic life. He was the primary liaison to the Middle States and New York accreditation agencies, led the College’s strategic planning and academic review process, and oversaw the academic re-organization of the College into two schools (School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Professional Studies). Zwier also added a dozen new programs and two satellite locations (Buffalo and Jefferson Road in Rochester), facilitated student learning assessments, enhanced faculty  evaluation policies and processes, and taught in the Political Science Department most every year, which helped him  better gauge student  interests, capabilities and experiences. He also supervised campus ministries, student development and admissions, as well as the general leadership of academic programs and institutions; observed and borrowed best practices from a variety of institutions as Chief Academic Officer, and handed diplomas to about 4,000 graduates during his tenure.

He recently reflected on his time at Roberts: The greatest strength of Roberts Wesleyan College is its people, the faculty and staff who are committed to the success of students. If I were to create an “All Star” team of faculty and staff from the Christian colleges where I have served, there would be a number of Roberts people playing on that team.

P12_02.jpgI feel a special sense of pride at Commencement when I see the fruits of our work in the students who have learned and matured, and who are now better equipped to serve God and humankind in their careers and their vocations. A very special moment was awarding a diploma to my son Steven, recognizing the rich educational experience he had at Roberts.

With his retirement plans mapped out, Zwier will be moving to Columbus, Ohio, to be closer to his two sons, Steven and Michael. Steven is in graduate school at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and Michael is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston. Zwier also plans to teach part-time and consult at the collegiate level. He has visited 48 states and would like to travel to the final two: Alaska and Hawaii.

On behalf of the faculty  and staff at the College, we pray retirement will be a wonderful experience, and may God give him peace and a life of satisfaction.

P12_03.jpgThe College has appointed Dr. David Basinger, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, to serve as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. Basinger will continue in this role until President-elect Deana Porterfield selects a permanent Chief Academic Officer.