Date: March 6, 2006
On March 6, an executive session of the Board of Trustees continued its ongoing review of the strategic direction and future of the university.
As it had during its October board meeting, the board went into an executive session (an executive session of the board includes only its non-university members) to more carefully review these plans and to discuss how the university and its administration had been developing and implementing changes for the future.
During those discussions, the Board felt that perhaps the best way to achieve new strategic directions for the university was through the opportunities that might be offered by new leadership at the school.
As a result, three resignations were offered and accepted, with regret, during the day's meeting. In accepting the three resignations, the board acknowledged that questions may be asked whether there were any moral, legal or ethical violations, and wishes to make it emphatically clear that this was not the case in any of these resignations in any way.
The resignations include those of Dr. Niels-Erik Andreasen, president; Dr. Patricia Mutch, vice president for academic administration; and, Edward Wines, vice president for financial administration.
Dr. Andreasen's resignation was effective immediately, although he has agreed to continue to serve the university until an interim president is identified.
Dr. Mutch's and Mr. Wine's resignations are effective June 30, 2006.
"We want to recognize the years of contributions that each of these individuals has made to Andrews University," says Elder Gerald Karst, chair of the Andrews University Board of Trustees and general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. "The passion and commitment they have offered, especially during a time of financial challenges and change, has provided the foundation needed for the future success and growth of Andrews University."
Following these changes, the Board will work within Andrews University working policies to guide the appointment of the search committees that will identify the individuals who will fill these positions. Each of these committees will include board, campus, alumni, community and Adventist church representatives.
Also, the board intends to appoint an interim president to guide the university as it prepares for its future.
While changes of this sort are always challenging for an institution, the Board of Trustees and its chair also expressed appreciation and praise for the daily work that continues to make a university like Andrews strong -- as students learn, write their papers and complete their research, laugh over a cafeteria meal, shoot baskets and cheer during the annual Newmyer Basketball Classic and join hundreds of their classmates as they pray and sing together on campus or reach out to directly serve in communities near the university and around the world.
These students are taught and guided by a faculty and staff who help fulfill the strength and hope that have characterized Andrews University's history for the last 132 years and that will provide stability and growth in the days and years to come.
Over the next several days and weeks, Elder Karst and Elder Walter Wright, vice chair of the Andrews University Board of Trustees and president of the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, will meet with individuals and groups throughout the campus community to explore and implement the next steps needed as the university moves forward.
During this time, Rebecca May, director of the Office of University Relations on campus is the official spokesperson regarding this issue, and will continue to share news and updates as they are available from the Andrews University Board of Trustees.