President Williford Announces His Retirement

Portland, Ore. – April 6, 2021 – Today, President of Multnomah University Rev. Dr. Craig Williford announced his plan to retire by June 30, 2022.  He and his wife Carolyn have served Multnomah University faithfully since assuming the presidency in July 2014. Williford is Multnomah’s fifth president and has led with his experience as a mentor, author, twenty years as a pastor, six years as a faculty member, and twenty years as a president within higher education.

The Willifords expressed, “We are so thankful to God for the privilege it has been to serve with all of you here at Multnomah University over the past seven years. MU is an amazing learning community blessed by God in so many ways. It has been our honor to serve alongside such a talented and dedicated group of faculty, administrators, staff, and trustees. I’ve had the opportunity to be around and build relationships with some of the best students and alumni anywhere. We look forward to this next school year with excitement because we know God will again do more than we could ever imagine.”

President Williford added that “Over the past seven years, God has blessed our work together by expanding MU’s mission in many areas. Our continued growth and effective use of educational technology and adopting the latest learning theory to enhance student learning outcomes will mean even greater missional fulfillment. Our new online programs, new residential majors, new athletic programs, and facility expansions positioned us to increase MU’s influence locally and globally for the sake of Christ. I look back over the past seven years and stand in awe of all that God accomplished through the dedication and service of all those in the MU community. Over the next year, I commit to doing all I can to prepare MU for our new president.”

MU’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr. Ben Ochs says about President Williford, “There are people in this world who positively impact all with whom they come into contact. Dr. Williford is one of them. Students, faculty, administrators, staff, colleagues, and community leaders see in him a leader, thinker, and confidante. His presence was a key reason for my choosing to serve as a trustee after his tenure as president began. He and Carolyn will leave a void felt by many. We wish them both well and pray their time together and with their wonderful family is blessed.”

The Board of Trustees has assembled a search committee consisting of board members, faculty, alumni, and public leaders to lead the process of finding the new president. They will hire a presidential search firm to assist them and begin a national search this summer. The search committee will provide regular updates in the new presidential search section of the MU’s webpage that will be added soon. The Board of Trustees asks that you join them in prayer as the search proceeds.

Plans to celebrate President Craig and Carolyn Williford’s time at MU will be announced in the spring of 2022. The Willifords would appreciate your prayers as they transition to live close to family and begin a new ministry.