November 6, 2015: After a process of establishing standards and reviewing suggestions, the search committee has voted 14 names for study. The 14 potential candidates include two African American males, three African American females, five white males, one white female and three Hispanic males, stated Dr. Benjamin Schoun, chair of the committee looking for a replacement for Dr. Niels-Erik Andreasen, the Old Testament scholar who has led the university for some time and earlier this year announced his upcoming retirement.
Before considering names, the committee at an October 22 meeting reviewed all of the lists of characteristics that had come in from the board, faculty and Adventist denominational leaders. These were collated, and eight were ranked as essential: strategic vision, academic experience and standing, personal courage and character, spiritual maturity and Adventist integrity, embracing multicultural diversity, ambassador and statesman internally and externally, team builder and possessed of good judgment.
In addition the committee agreed that there are three characteristics that reflect the current situation with Andrews University, the leading institution of higher education affiliated with the Adventist denomination. “First, multicultural and international sensitivities; second, a bridge builder who can negotiate difficult divides in the context of Adventist vision; third, building undergraduate programs and a presence on campus that connects with undergraduate students.”
A total of 83 names had been suggested by board members, university administrators and faculty, General Conference and division leaders, the Lake Union Conference, students and alumni, Schoun stated in a memo to the campus family. At the October 22 meeting, the search committee reviewed each name one by one, and the 14 were selected for further study.
Those potential candidates will be contacted and asked if they are willing to be considered and will supply a curriculum vitae. Some may eventually be invited to interviews with the committee.
Schoun has served as chairman of the board for the university and is retiring from a vice president role at the denomination’s General Conference. He continues to lead the search committee. The selection is a vital decision for the future not only of the university but also Adventist higher education around the world.