Valparaiso University Announces Former Concordia University Texas President as Distinguished Professor of Leadership

Valparaiso University welcomes Thomas Cedel, Ph.D., as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership. In this role, Cedel will be affiliated with various departments and colleges throughout the University, and work closely with Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, as well as key faculty members and stafffrom Student Affairs and Campus Ministries.

Beginning in the spring semester 2015, Cedel will also teach courses at Valpo and partake in pedagogical work that will enhance the student experience. This may include lectures, activities in support of the CORE program and facilitation of campus discussions related to the pedagogy of leadership. Additionally, Cedel will work closely with faculty and staff to support and guide the development, implementation and assessment of student learning outcomes related to leadership.

“While Tom’s work will focus primarily on curricular activities related to leadership, he will also work with students, faculty and staff to develop, implement and coordinate a broader range of leadership programs in co-curricular and extracurricular areas,” Biermann said. “We are confident that Tom’s experience, background and expertise will complement Valpo’s already strong people and programs in leadership and related fields.”

Additionally, Cedel will work with civic, business and community organizations throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area.

“My wife, Penny, and I are delighted to join the Valparaiso University community. I began my career in higher education after a conversation with Valpo’s previous president, Alan Harre,” Cedel said. “The University’s mission to prepare students to lead and serve in church and community is dear to our hearts, and we look forward to being a part of it.”

Prior to this position at Valpo, Cedel served as the president of Concordia University Texas from 2002 – 2014.  Under his leadership, the university moved from a 23-acre campus to a larger location encompassing more than 380 acres, and Concordia University Texas experienced tremendous enrollment growth from just more than 1,000 students in 2002 to nearly 2,600 students in 2013. Additionally, Cedel’s leadership resulted in increased fundraising and program growth.

Cedel’s early career was spent serving in the military, from which he retired as a colonel in the Air Force. A fighter pilot, he commanded a fighter squadron. Cedel earned his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. He also attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he completed Seminar XXI, International Relations.

Cedel was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, designated an Andrew W. Mellon pre-doctoral fellow and named a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at Carnegie-Mellon University.

With his wife, Cedel launched the Concordia University Texas’ prominent Excellence in Leadership program in 2007 to recognize annually a Christian leader in the community and simultaneously raise funds for the university’s scholarship fund. The Cedels have two adult children and two grandchildren.