The following statement was delivered to the campus community at noon on Oct. 22, 2013:
It's with shock and sadness that [we] must announce that Jeff A. Nelson, our president, was found dead on his Stillwater property this morning. The cause of death was evidently a gunshot wound.
This is a tragic occurrence and we're obviously very saddened for Jeff's family and for our campus community. We know nothing more than what we're telling you here, but we'll be as transparent as possible as we learn more.
The main thing you all need to know is that we will carry on in the face of this tragedy. We've been through tough times before, though none quite like this, and we will persevere. We've been in communication with the Board of Trustees and they will be working with us to plan our next steps to keep moving Northwestern forward.
Though some of us worked with Jeff only a short time, during his months as our president he re-energized our campus and heightened our aspirations. All of us will be affected by this tragic news, but none so much as Jeff's family. We'll be doing everything we can to support them, and have already dispatched members of our leadership team to Jeff's home in Stillwater.
Source: Statement from the leadership of Northwestern Health Sciences University