Keith Pretty Named New President of Northwood University
AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Keith Pretty Takes Over as President of Northwood University on Sept. 15. MIDLAND, MI – Keith Pretty, JD, has been selected as the new president of Northwood University. Pretty replaces Dr. David Fry, who is retiring this month, after serving 24 years as president of the university. Pretty becomes the third president in the university’s 47-year history. Dr. Fry will remain as president emeritus. After Dr. Fry announced to Northwood’s board of trustees in January his plans to retire, a search was begun to find and install a new president before the beginning of the academic school year in September. In January, a committee consisting of board of trustee members was formed and they were aided in the search by the Compass Group of Birmingham, MI. Pretty, who joins Northwood on Sept. 15, previously served as president and chief executive officer of Walsh College, a business school located in Troy, MI. He held the position for seven years. Pretty joined Walsh College in 1999 and launched an aggressive strategic action plan that has significantly increased enrollment and contributions to support scholarships and activities and brought greater efficiencies from reorganized functions. He led accreditation efforts and implemented new degree programs for the college. AdvertisementPretty has combined his experience in higher education, the private sector and government service into a career of significant accomplishments in each of those areas. This led former Michigan Governor John Engler to appoint Pretty to design a state Department of Career Development that matched Michigan’s educational resources to its business needs. Before joining Walsh College, Pretty was with Western Michigan University as its vice president for external affairs and general counsel, and president and CEO of the Western Michigan University Foundation. While managing all of the external relations activities — including legal, affirmative action, alumni, collective bargaining, development, legislative marketing and public relations — Pretty managed significant growth in foundation endowments, helping to raise more than $100 million in five years. Pretty also taught graduate administrative law courses as an adjunct assistant professor. Within the private sector, Pretty held governmental affairs positions with Amoco Corp. from 1980 to 1987, eventually rising to the position of senior Washington representative. In this role, he managed Congressional and Executive branch representation for Amoco and three of its major subsidiaries while serving as the primary corporate contact with the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, he was an administrative assistant to the Minority Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives and later became administrative assistant to former Michigan Senator William Sederburg. AdvertisementPretty earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Western Michigan University in 1973. He began his career in education, teaching and coaching at Portage Northern High School in Portage, MI, from 1973 to 1974. In 1978, Pretty earned a juris doctor degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI. He and his wife, Gretchen, have four children.