Sioux City, Iowa – Morningside University is pleased to announce the assignment of four new members of its executive cabinet. Dr. Chris Spicer has been named the permanent provost and vice president for academic affairs; Paul Erbes has been named as vice president for institutional advancement; Mark Lumsden will join Morningside as the new chief information officer (CIO); and Paul Treft ’84 will assume the role of vice president of finance and facilities
Dr. Chris Spicer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Chris Spicer has served as the interim vice president for academic affairs since 2019, following the retirement of Dr. Bill Deeds as provost. As the permanent leader, Dr. Spicer will continue to oversee all aspects of academic affairs, including strategic planning, budgeting, hiring, and developing faculty and academic administrators. He will also continue to serve as the chief academic officer and a member of the executive cabinet.
Dr. Spicer previously served 10 years on faculty as an associate professor of mathematics and is a three-time recipient of the Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Award, a two-time recipient of the Dr. William C. Yockey Assessment Award, and was named Omicron Delta Kappa Faculty Person of the Year Award by Morningside students. He has also received the Iowa Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America.
“Dr. Spicer has done a great deal of work in refining existing and leading the development of new academic programs and majors here at Morningside. He has a firm grasp of emerging issues facing academia today, and I am thrilled that he will bring his knowledge and experience to bear in his work as provost and vice president for academic affairs” said Dr. Albert Mosley, president of Morningside University.
An active scholar, Spicer’s mathematical expertise is in the areas of algebra, graph theory, and combinatorics. He also has an interest in the integration of math in popular culture. To that end, he has published papers that were co-researched and written with students on topics ranging from math in the game cops and robbers, to math in poker, to math referenced in the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” The latter led to the math in the paper being included in the background of one of the final episodes of the show and earning international attention for Morningside.
Dr. Spicer is an Illinois native who grew up in New Lenox, a southwestern suburb of Chicago. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mount Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a Ph.D. from North Dakota State University in Fargo. He and his wife, Christy, reside in Sioux City with their dog, BG.
Dr. Spicer will officially begin in the permanent role beginning Jan. 3, 2023.
Paul Erbes, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Paul Erbes will be joining Morningside University as its vice president for institutional advancement following a five-year stint as the vice president for development at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. In this role, Erbes will be responsible for overseeing all fundraising efforts, conducting research for future fundraising needs, and leading the advancement unit.
“Morningside has been without a fundraising leader for more than a year and we are elated to welcome Paul to campus. He has a wealth of experience, a passion for education, and an enthusiasm for joining this community that will make him a tremendous addition to our leadership team,” said Mosley.
While at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Erbes led a $28 million campaign, an $8 million building program, and helped grow the endowment from $24 million to $38 million in five years. He previously worked as a major gifts officer at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, chief development officer for Bello Machre, regional manager for Thrivent Financial, and he spent 25 years as a Lutheran pastor in Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.
In addition to his professional background, Erbes has been a team leader for Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing on more than 25 international building projects in 16 countries. He has also taught workshops and served as a mentor to newcomers to professional philanthropy, served as president for Habitat for Humanity of Dubuque and Jackson counties, and served as a leader and member of several other boards.
Erbes is a Minnesota native who was named to the Tracy High School Hall of Fame in Tracy, Minn. He loves reading, movies, and sports – particularly Baltimore Orioles baseball – and has completed 15 marathons.
Erbes will arrive on campus to begin his work on Jan. 3, 2023.
Mark Lumsden, Chief Information Officer
Mark Lumsden has more than 25 years of technology leadership experience. As Morningside’s new chief information officer, he will be central to assisting Morningside in shaping the technology vision for the institution; evaluating and updating the IT infrastructure; and overseeing and managing Morningside’s technology resources.
“Mark has a wealth of knowledge and experience from working in higher education technology that will be an important asset to Morningside as we address the technology needs of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Mosley. “We know that technology is an important component of the Morningside experience and Mark’s knowledge will allow us to move forward quickly and with confidence.”
Lumsden will report directly to the president and serve as a member of the cabinet. He will oversee the team of nine working in information technology, including managing Morningside’s technology refresh program, campus technology, and help desk.
Prior to Morningside, Lumsden served as CIO at Briar Cliff University, the Florida Institute of Technology, and Buena Vista University. He worked as an operations manager at Iowa Communications Network, a project manager for the State of Iowa; and was CIO for the City of West Des Moines. Lumsden has also been recognized for his work presenting on learning and has extensive experience building collaborative working environments and implementing continuous improvement strategies.
Lumsden earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in telecommunications from Iowa Central Community College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Buena Vista University, and a Master of Business Administration from Drake University.
Lumsden’s start date is slated for Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.
Paul Treft, Vice President for Finance and Facilities
Paul Treft ’84 has been named the successor to Ron Jorgensen ’79 who has served as Morningside’s vice president for finance and facilities for the last 26 years. Treft will be responsible for managing the University’s budget, administering financial matters, overseeing the facilities team, aiding in strategic planning, and serving as a member of the cabinet.
“Ron Jorgensen leaves a tremendous legacy as he prepares to retire. Without question, Paul Treft has been a critical part of that work. We are fortunate to be continuing with such an exceptional leader who has benefitted from the consistent and outstanding leadership of his predecessor. Paul’s experience and vast institutional knowledge offers us the opportunity for a seamless leadership opportunity and an exciting new chapter for Morningside,” said Mosley.
Treft has served as the associate vice president for business services and controller for Morningside University for the last 22 years with the responsibility for the University’s accounting functions, treasury management, and student receivables. During that time he has automated a number of processes within the business office.
Prior to Morningside, Treft served as the director of treasury management at Metz Baking Company and an internal auditor at IBP, Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Morningside University and a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State College.
Treft resides in Sioux City with his wife, Nancy ’91. He will assume his new responsibilities on June 1, 2023.