After Dr. William Brown’s recent announcement that he is stepping down as Cedarville University president after this school year, many people are wondering, “What’s next?” Not only will Dr. Brown be transitioning to a new role as chancellor, but there is also a need for a new president.
Moving forward, Dr. John Gredy, Cedarville’s provost, said the search for a new president will involve contracting with an outside firm to connect Cedarville with the right people for the job. The search involves not just the firm but other people’s thoughts as well.
“Whenever there’s a transition, it’s really important that you get input from your key constituents,” Gredy said.
For example, he said it is very important to get input from people such as students, faculty, staff, vice presidents, administrators, trustees and alumni. While they cannot ask every person individually, Gredy said that to get input from various groups in the past, they have held focus groups to get the information.
Pastor Robert Rohm, who leads the Chrisitan Ministries Division, said the trustees will be putting together a committee to search for the new president.
“Overall, this is the call of the trustees,” Rohm said. “They’re the ones that call a president.”
Rohm said the trustees would be looking for someone who has qualities such as a love for students, good speaking skills and a familiarity with academics. He also said they’ll be looking for someone who can represent the school well.
“The word president starts off with P-R,” Rohm said. “And that’s one of the big jobs of a president.”
Gredy also emphasized discernment and prayer as important to the process. No matter the qualifications, he wants to find the person God wants for the job.
“I would ask the Cedarville family to pray because we are really looking for who God is calling into that position to provide leadership for Cedarville University,” Gredy said.
Though Brown won’t be president next year, he’ll still be working with Cedarville as a chancellor.
“I’m really excited and pleased that he wants to continue on in that role [of chancellor] because I think that he will continue to further and strengthen the Cedarville community,” Gredy said.
The transition will be gradual. Gredy is managing the daily activities of the school, and Brown will start to focus more on the various constituencies and building relationships with them. For this year, Brown will continue to be at Cedarville for Monday chapels as well as for the Christmas activities.
“Going forward, that’s really important to CU, to strengthen our ties with various constituencies,” Gredy said.
He said that he appreciates Brown’s gift of bringing people together. He gave the example of a worldview conference
Brown put together in Iowa and how he was able to bring so many different Christian schools in the area together for the first time. Gredy said the feedback from that event, especially about Brown, was positive.
“A president really sets a tone for a university, and you know with his kind spirit, I think [he] has been invaluable to us,” Gredy said.