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Trustees Ask Augustana President to Stay an Extra Year

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Augustana College
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Facing a very difficult year ahead, trustees of Augustana College have asked the president to postpone his retirement. Earlier this month, Steve Bahls agreed to stay on an extra year, through the summer of 2022.

Board Chair John Murabito says dealing with the pandemic and its impact on Augustana will be very difficult, and he and the other trustees did not want to add the enormous challenge of searching for a new president.

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Credit WVIK News
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Board of Trustees Chair John Murabito, talking with students during a campus visit in 2017.

"It was just really important to us as a board and to me as chair of the board to make sure that we had locked in Steve's wisdom and experience and really strong leadership at least a year beyond let's call it the biggest year of challenge and potential crisis."

Bahls has been president of the college since 2003, and his latest contract would have continued for just one more year. 

Murabito says the president has the board's full confidence, and the respect of the faculty and administration. 

He says the coming year will be very challenging for Augustana, and every college, trying to plan for operations, finances, and safety.  

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.