How Dr. Kent Ingle Has Helped Organizations Turn Things Around and Revolutionize Higher Education
Southeastern University president Dr. Kent Ingle believes there is a crisis in higher education, one which can only be solved through innovative and revolutionary ideas. The thought and ministry leader and influential figure is lighting a fire in the future graduates of America and leaving his mark on each one of their lives in the process.
Higher education in America represents the idea of eventually landing one’s dream job, but the costs should not be staggering in order to achieve a college degree, a belief that Dr. Ingle firmly stands on. The need to innovate how future generations garner higher education and how much they will have to pay for it is a necessity.
“We want to continue to reimagine traditional education,” said Dr. Ingle. “We want to help students enter the workforce faster while attending college that is also less expensive. Our goal is for students to be debt-free upon graduation and landing a job post-college.”
From Unlikely Career Path to Philosophical Change
Dr. Ingle has been key in guiding numerous turnaround organizations over the course of his career. Serving as a major proponent of organizational and educational change and growth, Dr. Ingle’s mission to help people realize their true potential and ultimately find success is the driving force behind his thought-leadership framework.
His career began in Southern California, in the media where, at just 18 years old, he was handed the reins as a television sports anchor from one who served as his mentor. Over his tenure, he interviewed prominent and then-future Hall of Fame athletes like Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Pete Rose, Carl Lewis, and many others. Additionally, his time in the media brought him to networks like NBC and CBS.
Dr. Ingle then pivoted to the non-profit sector, developing his expertise in leading turnaround organizations from decline to accelerated growth. This is a path that would span over three decades, and eventually brought him to SEU.
“People thought I was crazy when I changed careers and went into ministry leadership,” Dr. Ingle said. “I started pastoring, built a church, and quickly realized that the two careers have something in common: storytelling in a way that grabs your audience and stays with them. I can tell stories that teach people and help them to see how to be better at being who they are and recognizing their unique gifts and talents.”
Speaking of innovation, while utilizing his ministry leadership in his current role as university president at SEU, Dr. Ingle also still maintains a level of involvement with media as the host of Framework Leadership, a high-performing podcast where he gathers influential and innovative industry-specific thought leaders.
It’s a divine process, the journey Dr. Ingle is on. He has learned and garnered more leadership skills to add to his philosophy with each stop along his fascinating journey. However, if you ask him now, he will tell you he is exactly where he needs and wants to be.
“We were all created for a purpose. God created each of us for something special. We can feel his divine design pushing us to greatness,” he said. “It’s exciting when we realize that God wants us to succeed; that he created each of us to make this world a better place. So many live unsatisfied and unfulfilled lives. Many years ago, I discovered that it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Driving Success at SEU
Dr. Ingle has reinvented higher education through an entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. Since becoming the 15th SEU president in 2011, he has guided the school to a 243% enrollment growth rate, which is remarkable considering that, when he took over, the school was in decline for two years, but has since seen over 10 years of accelerated growth.
During his tenure, SEU has been featured by the Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) as one of the fastest-growing private non-profit institutions in the country. Additionally, in CHE’s 2022-23 almanac, it was also heralded as fourth among all master’s level colleges.
As a university president, he is putting forth efforts to impact tens of thousands of students, student-athletes and educators each day on the job.
“Ultimately, that’s what university presidents should do; we are here to help them become what they are destined to become. That’s what drives me,” Dr. Ingle stated.
He has also placed more of an emphasis on online learning and offering programs to help make college more affordable and easily accessible.
“At SEU, we are working to create an impact and begin new conversations about what higher education can and should be — including affordability and accessibility,” stated Dr. Ingle.
About Dr. Kent Ingle
Dr. Kent Ingle is the President of Southeastern University, public speaker and recognized thought leader. Ingle is passionate about creating lasting change in higher education and setting up organizations for success. He is the author of The Modern Guide to College and host of the popular Framework Leadership podcast. For more information about Dr. Kent Ingle, please visit www.kentingle.com.
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