NCU Announces New Academic Leadership Team and Structure
President Scott Hagan, Ph.D., announced today that two new members will be joining the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), strengthening academic representation on the SLT and setting the stage for an exciting era in North Central University’s story.
Jason Wenschlag, Ed.D., has been hired to serve as Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), filling the current open position. The VPAA provides oversight for the four undergraduate colleges, graduate education, online education and instructional design, PSEO, academic partnerships, accreditation and assessment, registrar, library, instructional development, and athletics; he will also chair the Deans’ Council.
Desirée (Bontrager ’06) Libengood, Ed.D. will also be joining the SLT as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, while retaining her role as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In her role, Libengood will serve alongside the VPAA. Specific areas of oversight include assessment, accreditation, and institutional research. She will provide additional support as needed for the VPAA.
Hagan believes that Wenschlag and Libengood are equipped and ready to provide high-level academic leadership for North Central faculty members. “Dr. Wenschlag has a fascinating career history as an academic administrator. He has demonstrated continuous growth, innovation, and a God-given call to train up the next generation,” Hagan said. “He is forward-thinking and will bring tremendous energy to our strategic vision to be a pinnacle of academic excellence. Dr. Libengood’s history with NCU as a student and a professor, and her proven capabilities in academic leadership as a dean, will be the perfect pairing. I’m thrilled to have both individuals join the SLT.”
About Jason Wenschlag
Wenschlag received his doctorate in Education, Organizational Leadership, from Concordia University Chicago. His educational resume also includes a Graduate Certificate in Education Administration from St. Mary’s University, Education Specialist in Education Leadership from the University of St. Thomas, and a Master of Education in Business and Marketing Education from the University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s degree at North Dakota State University in Business Administration.
As a standout athlete, Wenschlag played professional basketball in Denmark after college. When he returned to start his professional career, he worked initially for his father’s consulting firm. Pursuing additional education to support his role in the firm, he found himself uninspired. “I prayed about what I should do,” Wenschlag recounted, “and God reminded me of how much I enjoyed coaching in Denmark and working with young people during my college years.” He decided to be a teacher and switched to a part-time role in the company while he pursued his master’s degree to teach high school business and marketing.
This pivotal move launched him into an 18-year career in teaching and education administration for three school districts, and he has served since 2015 at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. While serving as Upper School Principal for Minnehaha, Wenschlag played a vital role in guiding the school through tragedy and rebuilding after a devastating natural gas explosion, which killed two people and injured several others, destroying part of the upper school campus.
Wenschlag and his wife, Amy Lynn, are also co-owners of the Intevation Group, previously known as Performance Solutions, which was his father’s company—Wenschlag has done the company’s accounting for 25 years. They work to help corporate, non-profit, and K–12 or post-secondary education clients integrate learning and development tools that elevate individual and team performance. He also serves as a Senior Consultant for Arbor Research Group based in South Bend, Indiana.
Grateful for the opportunity to serve North Central, Wenschlag is ready to hit the ground running. “I have many connections to NCU and know many alumni who are leading, serving, and doing extraordinary things in ministry and other areas,” he said. “It is a wonderful, Spirit-filled community, and I was inspired by President Hagan’s vision, an exciting strategic plan, and faculty and staff who show great passion and commitment to the school. It is a privilege to serve people, and I strive to support academic creativity, innovation, and execution that engages students and delivers on the mission, so I want to be a part of what God is up to at North Central!”
Wenschlag and Amy Lynn live in Edina, Minnesota. When they are not attending school events, they enjoy spending time with family and friends, serving and leading at Bethel’s Rock Church, eating at independent restaurants, traveling or relaxing at a family lake home, and finding downtime to relax with Trek, their 12-year old Maltese.
About Desirée Libengood
Libengood is a graduate of North Central, earned her Master of Arts in English from the University of St. Thomas, and holds a Doctor of Educational Leadership degree from Bethel University. She has served as full-time faculty since 2011. For the past two years, Libengood has served as chair and co-chair of the Diversity Action Council (DAC), playing an instrumental role in crafting the Diversity and Equity Aspiration Statement.
As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Libengood provides leadership to the faculty serving in Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Communication Arts, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
“In my new role, I’ll provide oversight on HLC accreditation, institutional research, and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in academics,” Libengood said. “I’m excited to partner with all the faculty in serving our students well through continued improvement in academics. These are key areas that will help direct our growth as an academic institution.”
Libengood and her husband, Lance, who is a 2005 North Central University graduate, live in Eden Prairie and have six children. You can read more about their family here.