After more than a decade of leading Concordia University Texas, one of the region’s fastest-growing universities, President Tom Cedel, Ph.D., announced his retirement, effective Aug. 1, 2014. On Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the University’s 17-person Board of Regents accepted Cedel’s retirement and officially launched a nationwide search to hire the institution’s next president.
“Working with Tom has been a joy and a privilege during an enormously important time for the University,” Keith Weiser, chairman of Concordia University Texas’ Board of Regents, said. “Tom’s vision helped the school determine literally where it was going and what it aimed to be, and because of his leadership, the University has experienced a period of significant growth and renewed energy.”
During Cedel’s tenure, the University moved in 2007 after 80 years on a 23-acre campus in Central Austin to its current home, a 389-acre property in North Austin. Additionally, Concordia University Texas experienced tremendous gains in undergraduate and graduate-level admissions, growing from 1,073 students in 2002 to nearly 2,600 students in 2013; increased fundraising; saw programmatic growth, including the additions of a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program in 2008 and Masters of Business Administration program in 2010, among others; and enjoyed ever-increasing prominence of faculty members and unprecedented athletic success.
“Concordia’s transformation during President Cedel’s leadership—in enrollment, in the scope of its programs, and its campus setting—has been a truly remarkable story. Few presidents are able to end their service with a legacy of such dramatic, positive change. I admire what Dr. Cedel has accomplished,” Larry R. Faulkner, Ph.D., president emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin and recently retired president of the Houston Endowment, said.
Cedel, along with his wife, Penny, launched the University’s prominent Excellence in Leadership program in 2007 to recognize a Christian leader in the community each year while raising funds for the University’s scholarship fund.
Cedel joined Concordia University Texas as president in 2002 after serving as chief academic officer and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University at Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI.
“It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as Concordia University Texas’ president during these years of exceptional growth and success,” Cedel said. “The faculty and staff are second to none. I’m certain Concordia will continue to excel in its mission of developing Christian leaders and to prosper under its next leader. I look forward to working with the University’s Board of Regents to help identify that person.”
A retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot, Cedel commanded a fighter squadron and was vice commander of a fighter wing in various parts of the world including Pakistan, Japan, Korea, Europe and the Middle East. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. After assisting the Secretary of Defense on strategy and requirements issues in the Pentagon, Cedel retired from the military. He then served as head of the Operations Analysis Department at Northrup Grumman-TASC, Inc. in Rosslyn, VA.
Cedel received his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he completed Seminar XXI, International Relations.
His academic honors include his election to Phi Beta Kappa; his designation as an Andrew W. Mellon pre-doctoral fellow; and as a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Cedel is married to the former Penny Garrard of Pittsburgh, PA. Together, they have a married son, David; daughter-in-law, Heather; daughter, Becky; and grandsons, Rigel and Jacob.