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William P. (Bill) Robinson (Born Sept. 30, 1949, in Elmhurst, Illinois) is president emeritus of Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. He served as Whitworth's 17th president, from 1993 to 2010, after serving as president of Manchester College, in Indiana, from 1986 to 1993. His tenure as Whitworth's president was the second-longest in the university's history.
Robinson understood and articulated the "grand paradox" of Whitworth's mission, to uphold Christian conviction and intellectual curiosity as complementary rather than competing values. Inspired by Robinson's leadership, Whitworth students, faculty and staff joined with alumni, donors and friends to achieve record levels of freshman applications, enrollment and retention; $83 million in campus improvements; and a $75 million increase in the university's endowment.
In his role as president emeritus, Robinson works closely with Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor and the university's institutional advancement staff on external relations. He also writes and speaks widely on leadership, organizational culture and communication in corporate, nonprofit and ministry settings.
A communications scholar who has distinguished himself as a teacher, speaker and community leader, Robinson earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, his master's degree from Wheaton College, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He also studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and the Moody Bible Institute. Most of his scholarly work has focused on organizational, cross-cultural and interpersonal communication. He has also done informal research in his undergraduate majors of religion and philosophy. In 2010, a second edition of Robinson's book Leading People from the Middle: The Universal Mission of Mind and Heart was released. The book was first published in 2002 by Executive Excellence. His second book, Incarnate Leadership, was released by Zondervan in February 2009.
Robinson is a past chair of the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce (now Greater Spokane Incorporated) and a founding co-chair of the Higher Education Leadership Group of Spokane. He also serves on the board of Princeton Theological Seminary and the ING Educators Advisory Board, and he is an independent observer to the executive committee of Moss Adams, LLP.
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