Jeff Berggren, vice president for enrollment management and marketing, will be leaving the university in August to move to Arizona. He began working for the school in 1993.
Berggren will take on a part-time role in Arizona for the university to continue building relationships should the Peoria, Ariz. campus that was postponed in Oct. 2013 come to fruition.
“This is definitely a faith and family driven decision,” Berggren wrote in an email to faculty and staff March 28. “Kelly [my wife] and I have had a long-term desire to eventually be out west to be closer to my family. My parents live in southern Nevada … and both of them will turn 80 next year. We really feel drawn to be around them more frequently while they are still doing well instead of just later on when they require some high intervention.”
Berggren’s daughter Lindsey is graduating from the university in May, and his youngest daughter will be a freshman in high school in the fall. He said having family nearby is something they are very excited about because “we’ve just never had that.”
Berggren wrote that the decision “is definitely not connected to our new president.”
“Dr. Emberton is not looking to get rid of me, and I am not leaving because of Dr. Emberton,” he said. “If Dr. Dowden were still here or if we had a different president my conversation with them would have still been the same. It is just quite simply the right time for us to roll on to Arizona.”
Berggren will seek another job on top of his part-time role with the university in Arizona. He has three bachelor’s degrees in public relations, business administration and broadcasting and is looking forward to using those in Arizona.
“I’ll be looking for something different down there,” he said. “It could be something education-related, it could be something business-related, community organizing-related … It’s neat that there’s some flexibility down there.”
Until he leaves in August, he will continue to complete the fall enrollment process for the university. The university will create an official title for him in Arizona.
“At least there’s still a toe in the water, and it’s an appropriate way to see if God has something for Huntington University in Peoria,” he said. “It will help us make a good, informed decision down the line if that is the case. That’s a secondary thing, but it’s still a pretty cool thing.”
Nate Perry, director of undergraduate admissions, said Berggren “is one of the most well respected admissions professionals in the business.”
“His knowledge of the ever changing landscape of recruitment is unmatched,” Perry said. “Colleagues from across the country constantly approach Jeff asking for his advice and recommendation … Jeff has been a great mentor, leader and friend, and he will be greatly missed.”
Berggren said he feels confident in the future of the university.
“The growth of Huntington, it’s more than it was back then [in 1993] in terms of the faith-based component, the academic quality, the new programs that have started here,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that are still crescendoeing.”
Blair Caldwell of HTV News contributed to this report.