I'm very blessed with a wife who is not overly impressed with me and can keep me straight on these sorts of things. Rebecca has a remarkable way of keeping my feet grounded. We very much view this opportunity as a partnership. So Rebecca will help me from getting too big for my britches.

I've also learned from my research that it's important for leaders to have a small group of friends who can hold them accountable. As I move to Boston, I'll try to find a small group of friends who can do that for me. I'm blessed to know a number of wonderful people here, and I very much hope that I can find that group who can hold me to account, ask the tough questions that need to be asked, and make sure that I'm living in line with the values I espouse. 

You're an award-winning teacher with a reputation for mentoring undergraduates. How do you envision your interaction with students at Gordon?

I love college students. It's what drew me to higher education in the first place. It's wonderful to be involved in young people's lives when they're asking such big questions and dreaming such worthy dreams. My hope and great desire is to be present in the lives of Gordon's students in the way I've been present in the lives of my students at Rice.

It will surely be different. In some ways I will have a wider platform of engagement with them. But at the same time, it will feel different because I won't be in the classroom next year. I'm going to miss the classroom. I love the classroom. But I'm hopeful that there will be ways that I can continue my close interaction with college students. They are what make the job fun.

Finally, are there ideas you're particularly excited to pursue, strategies you're particularly excited to employ, as you prepare to take the helm of the school on July 1st?

My first order of business will be listening to my colleagues and the different constituencies at Gordon. That's the kind of researcher I am, and I expect I will bring those same sensibilities to my new job.

At the same time I think it's an amazing institution that more people need to hear about. I hope to be able to use my inaugural year as an occasion for us to raise awareness around the country and around the world about the terrific education students get at Gordon College, and the impressive work that the dedicated faculty and staff are doing day-in and day-out at Gordon.

Since I've been able to study amazing people in the course of my research, I hope to persuade some of them to pay us a visit, and in the process to bring more people to see the terrific institution we know as Gordon College.

For more information on the selection of D. Michael Lindsay as the new President of Gordon College, please visit the school website here. Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore, offering majors in 38 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.