Veteran of FBI, TSA trying to turn around Anderson University

Running a university is by no means easy, but it sounds like a cakewalk compared with John Pistole’s previous gig.

Before becoming president of Anderson University in 2015, Pistole worked for the FBI for 23 years, earning the distinction of being its longest-serving deputy director. He then spent four years as the longest-serving post-9/11 head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which protects the safety of the traveling public.

Today, the 62-year-old is about as far from the halls of power as it’s possible to get, but his new situation does boast a certain allure.

“I really enjoy engaging with the students,” said Pistole, 62. “And I haven’t had to testify before Congress once in the last 3-1/2 years.”

Not that he doesn’t face challenges. Pistole must guide the small, Christian, liberal arts university—which celebrated its centennial last year—into its second century. And in an era when schools the size of Anderson (about 1,350 undergraduates and 400 graduate students) are struggling to attract students and make ends meet, it’s a tall order.

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