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Provost Accepts PUC Presidency

Date: July 17, 2009

Andrews University Provost Heather Knight has accepted the invitation to serve as the next president of Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif. She will leave for her new post at the beginning of September.
Following consultation with Cabinet and Academic Deans' Council, President Niels-Erik Andreasen announced William Richardson will serve as interim provost. Richardson has 29 years of service to Andrews both in teaching and administration, having served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences from 1998 until his retirement in 2006. He will arrive on campus from his current home in Tennessee in time for the faculty and staff Fall Fellowship weekend, August 14–16. At that time he will begin working closely with Provost Knight to ensure a smooth transition.
“I know Dr. Knight not only welcomes the challenges and opportunities the presidency will offer, but also cherishes the opportunity to be closer to her and Norman’s eight children in California as well as her aging parents and a first grandchild who will be born this December,” says President Andreasen of her decision.
“I very much appreciate and treasure the three years that I have been privileged to serve as Provost at Andrews University. Together—as a campus community—we have worked hard and shared many important accomplishments as we aspired to move this flagship institution from ‘good to great.’ I know Andrews University will continue on this successful trajectory as members of this truly gifted learning community continue to take ownership of this vision for greatness,” says Knight. “Please know that even as I accept God’s call to a new assignment at Pacific Union College, Andrews University will continue to hold a very special place in my heart.”
Provost Knight came to Andrews University in August of 2006 from the University of the Pacific in California where she was serving as associate provost for faculty development. During her time at Andrews University, Knight was responsible for multiple significant accomplishments. Under her leadership, the budget development process improved and financial stability was restored to Andrews, resulting in operating gains since the end of fiscal year 2007; a new strategic plan was developed and implemented; the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence was developed to centralize faculty development initiatives; a discipline-sensitive compensation plan for faculty and staff was implemented; a new Program Review process was developed; and a Sabbatical Policy for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary was approved. Knight oversaw improvements in the areas of Enrollment Management with increased enrollment and student selectivity, and launched a new merit-based Graduate Scholarship Program. During her time at Andrews, Knight hired three new deans for the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business Administration and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary; and a new vice president for Financial Administration. Knight made it her personal mission to improve campus morale by serving as a catalyst for positive change and oversaw the beautification of the campus, facilities improvements and new construction on campus.

Richardson will guide the work of the Office of the Provost over the next six to nine months, while the University conducts a search for a permanent replacement for the position. President Andreasen is in the process of appointing a Provost Search Committee in accordance to the committee guidelines outlined in the Andrews University Working Policy.

Bill Richardson, interim provost, is returning to familiar territory. He holds four degrees from Andrews—a Bachelor of Arts in theology, a Master of Arts in Greek, a Master of Divinity, and a doctorate in biblical studies. He taught in the religion departments at both Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, and Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif. By the time Richardson joined the Andrews University faculty in 1977, his reputation as one of the denomination’s top Greek professors preceded him. Ten years after joining the faculty in the Department of Religion & Biblical Languages at Andrews, he became chair of the department in 1987. In September 1998, he transitioned to dean of the College of Arts & Sciences where he remained until his retirement. During his tenure as dean, he played a key role in helping the University transition from the quarter to semester system. His dedication both in the classroom and as an administrator was acknowledged with a 1992 Daniel A. Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Award and a 2006 Andrews University Excellence in Service Award. He was honored with the John Nevins Andrews Medallion, for his lifetime commitment to education, at the May 2006 Andrews University undergraduate commencement service.

-Written by Keri Suarez, media relations specialist, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication 

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