Pacific Union College in a media release today announced that former Southwestern Adventist University President Dr. Eric Anderson will serve as interim president when outgoing PUC President Heather Knight steps aside in January 2017. The statement from PUC's media relations department follows:
Dear PUC Community:
Pacific Union College’s Board of Trustees has elected a new president. Meeting in a special session on December 13, the Board voted to ask Eric Anderson, a senior faculty member, to serve as president until June 30, 2017. Anderson’s six-month appointment begins January 9, 2017.
Currently the Walter C. Utt Professor of History at PUC, Anderson was president of Southwestern Adventist University in Texas from 2005 to 2014. He is the fourth generation of his family to teach at PUC. In 1912, Anderson’s grandmother, Agnes Caviness, was PUC’s first baccalaureate graduate.
According to Board Chairman Bradford Newton, Anderson will be asked to help in the process of finding a long-term president for the 134-year old liberal arts college. With the administrative team, he will also be expected to reshape the college budget.
“I am grateful to Dr. Anderson for agreeing to take on this important leadership role,” says Newton. “He has the experience, vision, and commitment to lead PUC during the upcoming search committee process.”
“I am confident about the future of PUC,” says Anderson. He praises President Heather Knight, who will leave office on January 8, for her “unflagging optimism and strong commitment to PUC’s distinctive mission.” He adds, “I want to build on her achievements.”
He is particularly interested in promoting collaboration between the college and “the wider Napa Valley community.” He adds, with a touch of hyperbole, “We can’t live in monastic isolation up on Howell Mountain.”
Anderson holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. In addition to 30 years of teaching at PUC and nine years of administration at Southwestern Adventist University, he has been a Fulbright lecturer in Greece and a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has written on a variety of historical topics, including Reconstruction in North Carolina, philanthropic support of black education, and Progressive Era vice reform. His most recent publication is a chapter in the Oxford University Press study of Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet.
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