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Pacific Lutheran University names new president

(Video of incoming PLU president Thomas Krise by journalists at PLU's The Mooring Mast student newspaper.)

Pacific Lutheran University has a new president. Thomas W. Krise takes the helm at the private university this June.  He replaces Loren Anderson, who’s retiring.  

Krise comes to PLU from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he’s been the dean of the school of arts and sciences. Krise, an Episcopalian, is the first non-Lutheran to head PLU since it was founded in 1890.

In an interview with the student newspaper at Pacific Lutheran University, the Mooring Mast, Krise said he likes the student-centered nature of Pacific Lutheran and plans to build on it.

“It’s hard to tell exactly when an institution is getting it right, so one of the ways that I like to tell whether an institution is getting it right is to see whether people at other institutions ask you how you did it," he said.

Krise is a retired Air Force officer and the author of books and articles on early Caribbean literature.

Pacific Lutheran University has 3,500 students on its campus in Parkland, south of Tacoma.  PLU has ties to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, but only 20 percent  of students are Lutheran. 

Two years ago,  PLU changed its bylaws to allow a  non-Lutheran president. Bruce Bjerke, chairman of the PLU board of regents told The News Tribune:

It was done to deepen the pool of qualified candidates and out of a recognition of "less denominational consciousness in America, certainly in the Northwest."

Pacific Lutheran University holds the broadcast license for KPLU radio.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.