By Melissa Boyd (Whetstone Staff Writer)
He will become the vice president for finance and administration at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa.
“I went through a phone interview and then went to dinner with the president and some board of trustees members in January,” Nelson said. “A week later I was told that everyone was very much impressed with me and I’d be replacing a man who had been working there for 20 years.”
Nelson said it will be tough leaving Wesley, but that there were a couple of reasons Misericordia seemed like a good opportunity for him.
“They made me a very attractive offer, one that was hard to turn down and I accepted,” he said. “The college is also a lot closer to my parents and I’ve been up there a lot recently to see my dad, who’s been sick.”
President William Johnston said Nelson has been a key figure in helping Wesley grow.
“He’s been instrumental in positioning the college,” he said. “He has seen it grow and helped it grow. He has been an important officer of the college.”
Johnston said Nelson’s been helping with the hiring process for an interim to replace him, after Nelson gave a notice in January.
“The process is going well,” Johnston said. “We’re hiring an interim that would ideally be here over the summer and then permanent for the fall. It will not likely be the same person.”
Nelson said the human resources director at Misericordia also told him that the staff there was like a family, something he loves about Wesley’s staff. He said he believes the Wesley staff has been supportive because they understand how much of an opportunity this change in career would be for him.
“Some people were really shocking,” Nelson said. “I think everybody’s happy for me because they know it’s a good opportunity for me in my career. Some are a little sad, but still happy for me.”
Johnston said he had mixed emotions about Nelson leaving.
“I was happy for him because I think new opportunities can be very invigorating,” he said. “I am hopeful we will be able to find someone who could fill his shoes. I honestly feel new opportunities are wonderful. I have great appreciation for what he’s done and value him as a confidant.”
Patricia Johansson, administrative assistant to Nelson, said she was also sad to see him go.
“I learned about Eric’s resignation about March 15 and was initially shocked since his tenure at Wesley has been so long,” she said. “But I was happy for him as it provides new opportunities.”
Johansson is also leaving Wesley this year, but she is retiring.
“It worked out well in that regard,” she said. “It has been a pleasure working with Eric for the last six years. His sense of humor, courtesy, consideration and team approach has been fantastic. His office is very busy and the functions diverse and interesting.”
Johansson said she learned a lot from Nelson and his office, and that he will be missed.
“Wesley will be losing a dedicated employee,” she said.
Nelson said he himself believes this is a good opportunity for him.
“It’ll be a good stepping stone. I don’t know if I’d ever work up even more. I never thought of myself as a college president, but always as someone who follows the president,” Nelson said. “I feel really good about Wesley’s future. I gave a full 60 days’ notice and I’m an alumna of Wesley. It does me well to see it prosper and flourish. I will continue to be a part of the Wesley community.”
Johnston said he is sad to see Nelson leave.
“Mr. Nelson has been a truly valued and important person to Wesley. While we’re sad to see him leaving, we celebrate his success.”