Erskine trustees extend Christie’s term as acting president and affirm presidential search committee

Posted on August 20, 2013

The Erskine College & Theological Seminary Board of Trustees voted during its meetings August 15-16 to extend Dr. Brad Christie’s tenure as acting president while the presidential search committee moves forward to identify Erskine’s sixteenth president. Christie assumed the role of acting president in July upon the departure of David Norman from the president’s office.

Lisa Senn ’81, who chaired the interim presidential search committee, told trustees the committee believed the continuity of leadership provided by Christie would serve Erskine better than an interim presidential appointment. She reported that cabinet members and others the committee spoke with expressed agreement with the committee’s conclusions. The board approved the recommendation unanimously and the interim presidential search committee was dissolved.

In his role as acting president, Christie apprised the trustees of what he described as his “flourishing forward agenda,” which will concentrate on several core areas:

  1. Remaining focused on Erskine’s core mission to glorify God and equip students to flourish;
  2. Following through on the five-year strategic plan initiated in 2012;
  3. Continuing the progress made in addressing areas of concern with accreditors;
  4. Celebrating 175 years of Erskine over the next year;
  5. Completing and implementing a revised core curriculum in the college;
  6. Encouraging the discernment of vocation among students and faculty.

Turning the board’s attention to a long-term presidential appointment, Bill Cain, co-chair of the presidential search committee, which has met twice, delivered a report on its progress. Cain said committee members had committed themselves to strict confidentiality and prayer for the duration of the effort. They had also interviewed several search firms and chosen one to assist them in identifying potential candidates.

The trustees passed two additional motions related to the presidential search. The first took the form of a charge to the committeeinfoWording of Motion:“In its search for a new president for Erskine College, the Board of Trustees charges the search committee to search for, identify and recommend an individual whose qualifications include a personal profession of faith fully and enthusiastically in line with the Synod’s Definition of an Evangelical, the ability to communicate a Biblical World and Life View and the application of it in undergraduate liberal arts and graduate theological education, and affirmation and articulation of the doctrine of inerrancy as embraced by the Board of Trustees and as stated by the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, agreement with the philosophy of Christian Higher Education with a clear vision of implementing it into the life of Erskine College and Theological Seminary, subscription to the Standards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and the educational qualifications, leadership experience, personal skills, and significant fundraising background that demonstrate the competencies necessary to accomplish the stated mission of the institution.” in carrying out its task. The second motion was an affirmation of the presidential search committeeinfoWording of Motion:“The board affirms the appointment of the Presidential Search Committee and the process by which the committee members were appointed under the bylaws and that it expresses its full confidence that the Presidential Search Committee will act in accordance with the directives of the Board of Trustees and of Synod.”. Eight voting members and six non-voting advisors serve on that committee. The voting members are Bill Cain (co-chair), Crosland Stuart (co-chair), Bryan Bult, Andy Putnam, Clint Davis, Steve Sniteman, Mark Ross, and Sarah Brice. The non-voting advisors are Greg Haselden, Bill Patrick, Paul Bell, Daniel Prohaska, J.P. Marr, and David Conner.

The board also passed a motion affirming its historic relationship with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian ChurchinfoWording of Motion:“In grateful acknowledgement of the 175-year relationship between the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and Erskine College and Seminary, the Erskine College Board of Trustees hereby reaffirms Erskine as a valuable agency of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and covenants to maintain a close working relationship with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in order to continue preparing Christian leaders for service to the church and community.”, which echoed an affirmation the Synod made at the denomination’s annual meeting in June.

Chairman David Conner announced the formation of several ad hoc committees to review board policy revisions; to study several proposed bylaw updates; and to respond to requests from Synod regarding the seminary.

In other business, the trustees also:

  • Adopted a motion to notify all trustees of executive committee meetings and provide an option to attend or listen in on conference calls without voting privileges;
  • Adopted a motion to revise the bylaws to address uniformity of language regarding persons presiding over faculty meetings in both college and seminary;
  • Recognized Dr. John Showalter as professor emeritus of psychology;
  • Recognized Mrs. Charlene Haynes as registrar emerita.