Dr. Susan Kruml to Retire in June, Dr. Jamie Simpson to Assume New Role as Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Susan Kruml, Midland University Chief Academic Officer, has announced that she will be retiring from her position effective June 1, 2022. Kruml has served in higher education for 25 years, the past seven years at Midland.
Midland has announced that Dr. Jamie Simpson, Vice President for Student Affairs & Institutional Effectiveness, will take over as Chief Academic Officer, effective June 1, 2022. Midland will immediately begin the search for a new Vice President for Student Affairs.
Kruml arrived at Midland in November of 2015 when she was named Vice President for Academic Affairs. During her tenure as the leader of the academic team, Kruml has played a major role in orchestrating changes in structure and curriculum at Midland.
“I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for the gift of being able to work with the most incredible faculty and academic staff. My heart is warm as I reflect with pride on what this team has accomplished,” Kruml said. “The innovative nature of the leadership, faculty, and staff in academics is what keeps our work relevant. It’s been a wonderful place for me to grow and connect with excellent people.”
That teamwork was on full display when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020. Midland University was one of the first institutions in the nation to transition to online learning, something that Kruml said would not have been possible without the fortitude and teamwork of Midland faculty and staff. “This team never wavered, they just rolled up their sleeves and did what they had to do,” she said. “You can’t do that without incredibly strong, resilient people, and this is the most resilient group of people I’ve ever worked with. It’s probably the proudest moment I’ve had at Midland because nobody questioned anything, they just knew what had to be done.”
Kruml was also instrumental in overseeing the implementation of the DRIVE framework that focuses on five key areas and helps put students in control of their academic journey. “At most places, implementing something like DRIVE would take 7 to 10 years, and we did it in two,” Kruml said. “I could not be more proud of the outcomes from DRIVE, and it’s because of a collaborative effort from so many people we were able to get that accomplished in such a short amount of time.”
Midland University President Jody Horner said Kruml has been a key figure in overseeing many innovative and dynamic projects during her time at Midland. “At Midland, we strive to be relentlessly relevant in our approach to higher education, and no one exemplifies that belief more than Susan,” Horner said. “Since Susan’s arrival at Midland, she has brought immeasurable skills as an innovator and leader. I can’t thank Susan enough for everything she has done for this institution. We will miss her, but we know that Midland academics will continue to thrive because of the structure she has helped put in place.”
With three young grandchildren, Kruml is looking forward to being able to spend more time with family, as well as investing more time into various projects. “I want to get more involved with my community and do more project-based work,” she said. “I love to write, so I’m definitely going to find myself a writing project.”
A large portion of Kruml’s life has been dedicated to higher education and she’s grateful seven years of that time has been spent at Midland University. “I came to Midland because of Jody Horner and her vision and leadership,” Kruml said. “Midland has provided great leadership and allowed others to become leaders. Midland has helped shape who I am as a person and it’s been a great ride!”
Simpson has been at Midland for more than a decade, starting as an adjunct instructor before becoming a full-time psychology professor in 2012. Simpson had served as Dean of the Luther College of Arts & Sciences and Dean of the College of Health Professions before taking over as Vice President for Student Affairs in August of 2021.
“I’m excited to continue many projects I was working with Susan on through Academic Affairs,” Simpson said. “I can’t say enough about the mentor Susan has been for me and all that she has taught me about being a good leader. I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with Susan and so many others on the academic team. I know the great work they are doing and look forward to continuing to build outstanding opportunities for our students.”
As part of the Student Affairs team for the past six months, Simpson is thankful for the opportunity to see how other components of campus function. “I”m so blessed to have witnessed all the work that goes on outside of the classroom to help students be successful,” she said. “This team is amazing. They put their hearts and souls into making sure students are safe and cared for.”
Horner expects a smooth transition for Simpson into the Chief Academic Officer role. “Jamie has been such an asset for this university in many different roles,” Horner said. “We are excited for her to return to the academic department and are looking forward to her collaboration with an outstanding team.”