FaithSearch Partners is pleased to announce the completion of the President search for Southern Adventist University, near Chattanooga, TN, with the appointment of David C. Smith, Ph.D. Smith served as president of Union College in Lincoln, Neb. for 13 years, but prior to that spent 17 years as a professor and chair in Southern’s English department. He later returned in 2011 as senior pastor for Southern Adventist’s campus church and has also served as pastor of Collegedale Church. He will succeed longtime president Gordon Bietz, who is retiring, at the end of the academic year. Smith’s colleague Lisa Clark Diller, a history professor at Southern, describes Smith as a “servant-leader” and lauds his sharp thinking and communication skills, as well as his good humor, according to the Adventist Review. Smith says he looks forward to “partnering with God and all who are associated with Southern to see how He will make a special school even more special.”
Modern Healthcare reports that Tulsa’s Oral Roberts University has made the wearable fitness tracking devices FitBits required for all freshmen, allowing faculty to keep up with their students’ physical activity. The college has long required students to keep track of their own fitness manually, but they have now automated it with the electronic bracelets. FitBits monitor stats like heart rate and step counts, then send the results to faculty, which count for 20 percent of students’ grades in their mandatory physical fitness courses, according to Provost Kathaleen Reid-Martinez.
Abilene, Texas’s Hardin-Simmons University has announced its new president, Eric Bruntmeyer. He succeeds Dr. Lanny Hall, who will become the school’s chancellor after the change takes effect June 1, 2016. Bruntmeyer is currently the Vice President for Financial Affairs and CFO for Dallas Baptist University, where he helped the institution increase revenue from $40 million to more than $108 million from 2003-2015, KTXS reports. Bruntmeyer hopes to focus on enrollment and student retention when he takes the helm this summer.
Capital University has named Elizabeth L. Paul as its new president, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Paul is currently the provost and executive vice president of Stetson University in Florida, where she has served since 2009. There she helped increase undergraduate enrollment and stabilize enrollment at its law school, which she will be challenged with at Capital as well, as it is currently facing enrollment decline as a result of lower high-school graduation rates. Paul will take over from Denvy Bowman, who is retiring, July 1, 2016.
Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich, has selected Andrea Luxton as its new president, succeeding Niels-Erik Andreasen, who is retiring this spring. Luxton is currently the provost of the university, a role which she has held since 2010. She has also served as president and vice president for academic administration at Canadian University College (now Burman University) in Alberta, Canada, associate director of education at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and president of Newbold College in England, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Ohio’s Cedarville University has named a new vice president as well as approved a $118 million budget for the 2016-2017 year, which includes a 3.35 percent tuition increase, a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for faculty and staff, and $30.3 million for student financial aid. The private Baptist institution has also selected Lt. Gen. Loren Reno as vice president for academics. He served as the founding dean of the Cedarville School of Business Administration and helped the department earn a 36 percent enrollment increase during his tenure. In 2012, he retired as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support for the Air Force in Washington, D.C.