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 The Search for a President
Williams Baptist University


The Board of Trustees and its Presidential Search Committee invite nominations and expressions of interest for the position of President of Williams Baptist University. This leadership position represents an opportunity to build upon a legacy of progress, working with an exceptional community of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and local community and civic leaders.

The search is a result of the departure of Dr. Tom Jones, who served as the sixth president of Williams. He recently accepted a position in another state after a successful tenure of five and a half years as president.


Established in 1941 as Southern Baptist College, the institution now bears the name of its founder, Dr. H. E. Williams. WBC announced in the fall of 2017 that it is transitioning to Williams Baptist University. It will formally become WBU in the summer of 2018.

With a total enrollment of 500 students, Williams is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Students select from 25 majors and a like number of minors built around a liberal arts foundation and core curriculum, and the learning environment is enhanced by a highly-qualified faculty with a heart for engaging and instructing students and a faculty-to-student ratio of 13:1.

The 250-acre campus is located in Walnut Ridge, Ark., a charming town of just over 5,000 people in the northeast corner of Arkansas, nestled in the agrarian flatlands between the hills of the Ozarks and Crowley's Ridge. It is a 30-minute drive from Jonesboro, Ark., a city of 75,000, and it is within two hours of both Little Rock and Memphis.

The college infrastructure has undergone significant improvements in recent years, including construction of the iconic Manley Chapel and Swaim Administration Building, as well as renovations to almost every structure. Among other recent additions to campus are Belle Hall and Nicholas Hall residence facilities and the Billie Harty Dining Hall in Mabee-Gwinup Cafeteria.

Williams is in the second phase of a strategic planning effort known as the Diamond Vision Plan. Named in recognition of the institution's 75th anniversary, the DVP spells out more than 100 objectives within six broad areas: Enrollment, Employees, Business, Students, Academics, and Capital Needs. The DVP has helped the institution set priorities and achieve important objectives in recent years.

As an institution of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, WBU is committed to being an exemplary Christian university with an integrated curriculum shaped by professionals committed to Biblical precepts and values.

The Williams Eagles field teams in nineteen varsity and three junior varsity sports. They compete in the American Midwest Conference of the NAIA.


The President will provide leadership in all areas of the university, including:

  • Cultural Infrastructure, which comprises the university community, institutional accountability and transparency, and visibility and participation as the chief executive.
  • Resource Development, specifically enrollment and retention of students and fundraising among patrons of the university.
  • Academic Program, from facilitating review and assessment among faculty to shaping the university's position for educational demands of the future.
  • Strategic Planning, in the broad context of objectives and timelines approached with innovation and a fresh perspective that build on the university's strengths and heritage.
  • Facilities, in which area the universityhas made great strides, but nonetheless require continual diligence in terms of planning and management.


  • A collegial, empowering leader, confident a community working together can achieve significant accomplishments, including a complete understanding and articulation of institutional role and mission;
  • The ability to select, support, mentor, delegate to, and hold accountable a talented group of professional colleagues;
  • A willingness and energy to be actively involved and visible in multiple communities, including the campus, denomination, city, state, region, and nation;
  • A record of working successfully in the growth and development of a not-for-profit governing board;
  • An understanding of the unique dynamics inherent in the recruitment and retention of the current university student generation; 
  • An ability to secure major gifts for the university, supported by a full understanding and appreciation that philanthropic support provides the unique opportunity to perpetuate the donor's life values;
  • Credentials respected by the faculty and indicative of the individual's understanding of and commitment to liberal studies and the academic process;
  • Experience in the successful implementation of strategic planning goals and objectives;
  • A joy in the opportunity for frequent interaction with students accompanied by a strong belief in the critical relationship between the curriculum and the co-curriculum;
  • A willingness to live, work, and be actively engaged in a small, rural community; and
  • An ability to communicate effectively with the general public on the vision, mission and work of the university.

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