As the University continues its search for a new president, students play their own part in the process.
Dr. Stephen Jones announced his resignation on Dec. 13, 2013, because of ongoing health problems. Since that time, BJU’s Board of Trustees has been diligently preparing to search for a new president. The Executive Search Committee will interview the candidates and will recommend a candidate to the Board of Trustees, who will ultimately elect the president.
Larry Jackson, chairman of the Board, has made it clear that the committee is open and accepting of all feedback and suggestions, especially from students.
“I’ve appreciated hearing students’ suggestions, especially because they say they’ve taken time to pray and think about it,” Jackson said.
In order to create a profile outlining what qualities the next president should possess, the Executive Board formed an advisory committee. This committee was made up of a cross section of faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and both student body presidents, seniors Jared Poe and Sarah Kalmbach. Although the Search Committee is ultimately responsible for the creation of the profile, Poe and Kalmbach submitted a profile on Feb. 1 that they had compiled from input they received from the student body.
Jackson said profiles were accepted from any students who wished to submit them through the channel of the two student body presidents.
Jackson encourages students to continue to be involved in the selection process through prayer. He suggests forming prayer groups and dedicating portions of time to pray for the search because ultimately, God is the One who will decide who the University’s next president will be.
The search itself is still an ongoing process. The Search Committee hopes to have the profile completed by mid-February, around which time they are also hoping to have a website set up where candidates can submit formal applications. To be selected as president, a candidate must meet several qualifications including: an ordained preacher, someone who affirms the University Creed, and preferably a BJU graduate.
In addition, the seven members of the Search Committee must also agree unanimously on the candidate. Jackson says students can especially be in prayer about this qualification. He asks that students would pray for God to give the committee wisdom and discernment and the ability to agree on the right candidate.
In case of a prolonged search, Jackson feels confident the University will continue to operate as normal. He said the board would obviously prefer the search process to be short, but that the University’s administration is strong and can continue operations as normal in the interim.