Paul Pribbenow, the 10th president of Augsburg University, a private liberal arts university associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and located in Minneapolis, is recognized as one of the country’s most engaging commentators and teachers on ethics, philanthropy, and American public life.
Since joining Augsburg in 2006, Pribbenow has enhanced the University’s role as an active community partner in its urban setting. By identifying and embracing initiatives that mutually benefit Augsburg and its neighbors, the University has achieved national recognition for its excellence in service learning and experiential education. Pribbenow also has become a leader among the 26 colleges and universities of the ELCA, helping to articulate the gifts shaping and supporting Lutheran higher education in the 21st century.
Pribbenow has led Augsburg University in the development of new mission and strategic vision statements that anchor the institution’s priorities and initiatives, shaping the University’s strategic plan, Augsburg 2019. He has advanced the University’s top priority—a state-of-the-art education center housing academic programs in science, business, and religion, among others—and has played key roles in cultivating donor relationships and in attaining the largest philanthropic gift in Augsburg University history.
Before coming to Augsburg, Pribbenow served as president of Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois. He also has served as research fellow for the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College (Indiana); dean for College Advancement and secretary of the Board of Trustees at Wabash College; vice president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and associate dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
Pribbenow holds a BA (1978) from Luther College (Iowa), and an MA (1979) and PhD (1993) in social ethics from the University of Chicago. He received the Distinguished Service Award at Luther College in 2008.
Pribbenow serves on the Executive Committee for the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), on the National Campus Compact Board of Directors, and on the Oslo Center US Foundation Board of Directors. Locally, he is chair of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership and serves on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Private College Council.
Pribbenow received the William Burke Award for Presidential Leadership in Experiential Education from the National Society for Experiential Education (NSSE) in 2012. He was named a McCormick Presidential Civic Leader Fellow for 2003-04 and for 2005-06. And, under Pribbenow’s leadership, Augsburg University became the first higher education institution in Minnesota to earn the prestigious Presidential Award for Community Service, the highest honor possible for service work.
Pribbenow is the author of numerous articles on philanthropy, ethics, and not-for-profit management. He publishes a bimonthly email newsletter titled, “Notes for the Reflective Practitioner.”
Pribbenow lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Abigail Crampton Pribbenow, and their two children, Thomas and Maya.