CU Announces New Chief Academic Officer


Cornerstone University is pleased to announce Dr. John VerBerkmoes, currently serving as vice president for adult learning and academic dean for Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, as executive vice president and academic dean effective immediately.

VerBerkmoes, an alum of CU and GRTS, will take over academic duties as Rick Ostrander, provost since 2009 assumes the role of vice president for academic affairs and professional programs with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) in Washington, D.C. in August.

"I am deeply committed to doing what is best for CU," said Dr. Joe Stowell, CU president, in his announcement of the transition. "Given that the chief academic officer is a direct report to my office I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. John VerBerkmoes to fill the position. John is a proven and highly respected academic leader whose love for and loyalty to CU have been evident through his 28 years as a part of our community. His strategic thinking and effective academic leadership skills have been vetted on many fronts, as he has rendered distinguished service to our university."

Dr. VerBerkmoes will lead an academic team with a vice president of traditional undergraduate (TUG) academics and a vice president of adult learning. Each new vice president will have a chair at the cabinet table and report to the president.

Dr. VerBerkmoes will immediately launch a process to fill the two vice president positions on the team.

"I am confident that this arrangement fulfills our commitment to do what is best for our university," said Dr. Stowell. "It is designed to accelerate our academic success and gives us uninterrupted progress for our academic programs and initiatives."

Dr. Verberkmoes, who holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, previously served at CU in several other roles including admissions and financial aid.

"Cornerstone University has been transformative in my life, both as a student in the 1980s and throughout the past 28 years of administrative service," said Dr. Verberkmoes. "I am so grateful for this institution and for the people who serve here, and I am honored by this new opportunity to contribute to our vital mission."