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Williams Launches Presidential Search Process


The presidential search process has begun at Williams Baptist College. Dr. Bob Magee, chair of the presidential search committee, says Williams is now accepting applications and nominations for the seventh president of the institution, which is transitioning to Williams Baptist University.

“We are currently not governed by a set timeline, that is, with a deadline to find a president. We want to proceed with serious candidates and be divinely led until someone’s name surfaces,” said Magee, who is professor of music and chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Williams.

The search committee was assembled by J.R. Cox of Walnut Ridge, who chairs the Williams Board of Trustees, after Dr. Tom Jones announced that he was resigning the presidency to take a position in California. Cox will serve as an ex officio member of the search committee.

Other members of the committee are: Amber Grady, dean of students and a 2003 Williams graduate; board member John Hill of Jonesboro, CEO of Sulcer Rentals; board member Dr. Johnny Hutchison of Jonesboro, pastor of Highland Drive Baptist Church; board member Dr. Heather Moore of Cabot, a physician and 2003 Williams graduate; Dr. Ann Paterson, Nell I. Mondy Professor and chair of the WBC Department of Natural Sciences; Jeff Rider, WBC director of athletics and a 1985 graduate; and board member Dave Russell of Jonesboro, CEO of TEKLA Research.

The search committee has put a presidential search website together on the Williams home page, with detailed information about the university and a listing of leadership characteristics that are sought in the next president. The list details the temperament, experience and leadership skills desired in the university leader.

“Keeping in mind the leadership characteristics outlined in the search profile, we are looking for someone who can respond and react favorably to these. More importantly, we are seeking someone who feels divinely led to this university and not just a personal desire to be a president somewhere,” Magee noted.

The committee chair said there is a heavy responsibility involved with the group’s task, but he feels such pressure can be productive.

“There is naturally a certain amount of pressure that comes with this kind of responsibility. However, we do not want to work under what I call ‘negative’ effects of pressure that tend to produce frustration, sometimes panic. We prefer the ‘positive’ pressure that leads to excitement and anticipation of finding a president,” he said.

More information on the Williams presidential search, including application and nomination instructions, can be found on the presidential search website.

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