The Andrews University Board of Trustees has selected Andrea Luxton, currently the university's provost, to succeed outgoing president Niels-Erik Andreasen. With the appointment, Luxton becomes part a growing number of women presidents currently serving in Seventh-day Adventist Higher Education within North America, joining Dr. Avis Hendrickson at Atlantic Union College, Dr. Heather Knight at Pacific Union College, and Dr. Vinita Sauder at Union College. The following announcement was issued on the Andrews University website:
Earlier today, the executive session of the Andrews University Board of Trustees elected Andrea Luxton to serve as the sixth president of Andrews University (and 24th president overall since Andrews University first began as Battle Creek College).
Luxton replaces Niels-Erik Andreasen who is retiring this spring following 22 years of service as president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s flagship university. Prior to becoming president-elect, Luxton has served as provost of Andrews University since 2010. Before coming to Andrews University, Luxton served as president and vice president for academic administration at Canadian University College (now Burman University), as an associate director of education at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and as principal/president of Newbold College in England. She holds a PhD in English from Catholic University of America and a postgraduate diploma in Institutional Management and Change in Higher Education from University of Twente, Netherlands.
“I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to serve and lead at Andrews University,” says Luxton. "I look forward to the opportunity to carry on the incredible heritage of Dr. Andreasen’s two decades of leadership at Andrews University, and to find powerful and strategic ways to continue to support and serve the constituencies of Andrews University–both on our Berrien Springs campus and in our Andrews University family around the world."
The selection of Luxton was guided by the work of a board-appointed Presidential Search Committee, which began meeting in September 2015, one month after Andreasen announced his plans to retire. Chairperson of the Presidential Search Committee was Ben Schoun, who also chairs the Andrews University Board of Trustees.
“It has been a challenging and ultimately rewarding process,” says Schoun. “This committee has been very careful and conscientious in evaluating a broad array of well-qualified candidates from around the world—including a number of minorities, women and men—which finally led to the prayerful selection of Luxton, who was voted by the Board earlier today.”
“Some names on our list withdrew of their own accord, but we had a top quality list to choose from. The interviews and detailed evaluation that followed led to the final recommendation of two possible candidates to the board today. We believe that Luxton, who our board has now voted as Andrews University’s next president, reflects the sort of visionary, thoughtful and God-centered leadership that President Andreasen has offered to Andrews over the last two decades, while also offering the University new and significant perspectives to the journey ahead. We pray for continued blessings and success for Andrews University and for Luxton as her presidency begins this spring.”
Today’s vote came after several months of meetings, evaluation of candidates and interviews. The Presidential Search Committee met earlier this week on Sunday, February 28, for one final review and confirmation of their final choices, and the two names selected and confirmed by the committee were then formally submitted to the Andrews University Board of Trustees for its vote.
The election of the new president was made by secret ballot in the executive session of the board (Andrews University representatives, which includes the President’s Cabinet and the Academic Deans Council, are invitees to the board, and thus were not present for the vote by the board in executive session).
Luxton, who is now president-elect of Andrews University, will be formally confirmed as the University’s next president by a vote of the newly seated Andrews University Board of Trustees at its June 2, 2016 meeting.
At that same meeting, Ben Schoun, who has retired from his role as a general vice president at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, will also step down as chair of the Board of Trustees, and Artur Stele, general vice president at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, will serve as the next chair of the board. Stele already served on the Presidential Search Committee as an invitee with no vote.
“It’s bittersweet to think of what comes next, after Andrews University has meant so much to my education, life and work,” say Niels-Erik Andreasen, retiring president of Andrews University. “Between my years as a student and president, I’ve spent about one third of my life passionately dedicated this campus. But as my wife and I move on to what is next for our own lives, I have great faith in Luxton and in the leadership that she will offer Andrews University, in God’s continued blessings for this Andrews University community that Luxton will lead, and for the global Seventh-day Adventist community that Andrews is honored to serve in its role as the church’s first and flagship university.”
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