NewsStudent Life, Students

Northwestern Hires New VP for Student Experience

By Jennifer Clemens on Wednesday, January 10, 2024

ST. PAUL, Minn., January 9, 2024 – University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is pleased to announce that, following a robust national search, Mr. Bret Hyder has been selected to fill the new role of Vice President for Student Experience, a role created to support Northwestern’s vision of a dynamic student experience that includes the development of students’ leadership abilities, spiritual formation and resilient character, as well as foster and facilitate a distinctively Christian on-campus community. 

Mr. Hyder has a charismatic presence, brings a visionary and strategic approach to leadership, and cares deeply about the student journey. A former high school teacher and athletics coach, Hyder also has significant experience in higher education admissions and enrollment management, with increasing responsibilities over the course of 14 years at Crown College, Bethel University, and Northwestern. He also has volunteered extensively with Young Life, which emphasizes building relationships with both churched and unchurched youth.

In a message to the internal Northwestern community announcing Hyder’s hire, UNW President Corbin Hoornbeek said, “To continue attracting undergraduate students to Northwestern, we envision an experience where students are molded in deep relational and transformational Christian community. I believe Bret is a leader who is ready to reimagine and strengthen the engagement of students at Northwestern.”

Regarding his new appointment, Mr. Hyder shared, “Northwestern is a really special place — firm in its commitment to Christ and passionate about helping students have the best college experience. We recognize the importance of doing life together and I’m excited to execute a plan that will engage students in Christ-centered and life-changing community.”

In his new role, Hyder will serve on the President’s Cabinet, and co-sponsor the student experience portion of the university’s upcoming strategic plan.


University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is a nondenominational Christian university in St. Paul, Minn. With a biblical worldview integrated into all programs, UNW provides a unique educational experience for students who want to combine faith and education. Northwestern offers more than 65 areas of study, including seven master’s degrees, and online and early college programs. Northwestern Media, a ministry of the university, owns and operates 29 Christian radio stations throughout the Midwest with a total listenership of more than 2 million listeners.