Dr. Rick Lytle will transition out of his role as Dean of the College of Business Administration over the next year.
Lytle, who has served as COBA’s dean for the last 16 years, will take over leadership of the Colorado-based organization CEO Forum Inc. CEO Forum is a marketplace ministry dedicated to developing spiritual executives across the country. The group is made up of 225 Christian CEOs representing big names such as Exxon, Walmart, Tyson Foods and Proctor & Gamble.
“These are people from around the country who really are sold out to try and use their positions for the Lord,” Lytle said. “And I’m going to lead these efforts.”
In addition to the CEO Forum, he will run the Lytle Center for Leadership Development at ACU. The center was endowed last year as part of the $7 million gift to COBA from Mark and April Anthony. This new center will be in charge of COBA’s annual Leadership Summit conference in Colorado, the Distinguished Speaker series throughout the year and Impact conferences in Dallas.
The Lytle Center’s new focus will be on alumni outreach and next-generation leadership development. Lytle said he has plans to overlap the Forum and the Center for Leadership Development by having leaders and CEOs speak to the younger generation of business professionals.
“This is a pulling together of generations, centered on the notion of trying to be everything God wants you to be in the marketplace,” Lytle said.
In his 25 years at ACU, Lytle has worked on numerous leadership development initiatives with students, but said he felt called to these new opportunities.
“It’s almost like my mission and my focuses haven’t changed, but my playground is going to change,” Lytle said. “I’ll be working with executives from all of these corporate giants in the country instead of the 18- to 22-year-olds in the classroom. And I’m going to miss it, trust me.”
Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost, said though he is sad to lose Lytle as a dean, he is excited for the new opportunities ahead for Lytle.
“This is an incredible honor for Rick, and it speaks to his Christ-like character and reputation among the influential business leaders he has befriended through the years,” Rhodes said.
As Lytle begins to transition out of his role as dean, he will also be making preparations to relocate. The CEO Forum is headquartered in Colorado Springs, and Lytle said he and his family could end up there by the end of next summer.
“It’s bittersweet to leave,” Lyle said. “It’s my 25th year to be at ACU; I love this place and I’ve given my life to this place. It’s going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But sometimes you have to make hard decisions, so we are stepping out in faith.”
The national search for a new dean for COBA will begin later this fall.