Committee Updates

October 17, 2022

 October Update on the Andrews University Presidential Search Process

Dear Andrews University community,

I want to keep you informed of the activities of the Andrews University Presidential Search Committee (AUPSC) as it supports the Board of Trustees in the selection of the next Andrews president.

The first meeting of our AUPSC occurred on Sept. 7, 2022.

Activities at that September meeting included the following:

  1. A review of the Committee’s roles and responsibilities
  2. A draft of desired presidential attributes and qualifications
  3. Development of a process to listen to stakeholder groups and solicit nominations
  4. Initial consideration for candidate interview topics and processes

The second meeting of the Committee was held last week, on Oct. 13, 2022.

During that meeting, the Committee used extensive and valuable stakeholder input as tools to help the Committee refine and approve a final list of presidential candidate leadership attributes and qualifications. The Committee was excited to accept 148 nominations altogether (collectively known as the “long list”) from across all stakeholder groups. The “long list” includes a wide range of individuals representing diverse talent based on those individuals’ leadership experience, gender, race and age.

The Committee also began the very important and challenging work of sorting and prioritizing that “long list,” based on the desired leadership attributes and qualifications for the next Andrews University president.

As a result of that process, the Committee developed a first draft of a “medium list” of potential candidates. That “medium list” draft now includes twelve (12) names that seem to have attributes and qualifications that would make them strong candidates. That “medium list” also includes 51 names that may qualify as strong candidates after additional consideration.

Of the 148 nominations the Committee received, an additional 80 names were eliminated because they did not meet the desired attributes and qualifications. Additionally, five (5) members who also serve on the AUPSC withdrew their own names from consideration.

The AUPSC will meet again in late November to review the “medium list” of potential candidates and work to approve a “short list.”

A “final” candidate list will be approved in mid-December in anticipation of candidate interviews in January 2023. A February meeting of the Committee will then be used to prepare for the AUPSC’s recommendations to the Andrews University Board of Trustees meeting on March 7.

I wanted to thank you, and the Andrews University family, for your continued interest, insights and prayers as we continue our work to select and recruit the next president for Andrews University.

Artur A. Stele, chair
Andrews University Presidential Search Committee
Andrews University Board of Trustees


September 1, 2022

Update on the Andrews University Presidential Search Process

Dear Andrews University community:

I want to share a brief report on what has happened since President Andrea Luxton’s announcement in our May 2022 University Board of Trustees meeting that she plans to retire in June 2023.

Our first task as a Board of Trustees was to form a search committee reflecting the governing documents of the University that would begin the important and careful work of choosing a successor. That process began during the Aug. 1, 2022, meeting of the Board of Trustees, when the 13-member Search Committee was named.

As the Committee begins its important work, I, along with the University Board of Trustees, want to formally celebrate and honor the remarkable leadership that President Luxton has provided our church’s flagship university, helping the Andrews University community to thrive even amidst some significant and world-changing challenges.

As we prepared to create the Search Committee, we asked various groups to submit names of individuals they would like to see on the Search Committee. These groups included the faculty, staff, students, alumni and, of course, the Board of Trustees.

Since the Search Committee was formed I, along with Ken Denslow, vice chair of the Search Committee, also met formally with Andrews University’s President’s Cabinet (a group which includes University VPs, the associate VP for Human Resources, as well as the Faculty and Staff Senate chairs, the University chaplain and Pioneer Memorial Church pastor) and its academic deans on Aug. 23 to seek feedback and recommendations.

The Andrews University Presidential Search Committee (AUPSC) will meet formally and for the first time on Sept. 7, 2022.

The members of the Search Committee are as follows:


  • Artur Stele, chair (chair, Board of Trustees)
  • Ken Denslow, vice chair (president, Lake Union Conference, and vice chair, Board of Trustees)
  • Alexander Bryant (president, North American Division)
  • Lisa Beardsley-Hardy (director, Department of Education, General Conference)
  • Loren Hamel (non-church employed physician, chief strategy officer of Spectrum Health System and president of Spectrum Health Lakeland)
  • Vonda Douglas-Nikitin (non-church employed medical director, associate professor of pathology, Beaumont Health System)


  • L. Monique Pittman (College of Arts & Sciences)
  • Liz Muhlenbeck (College of Professions)
  • Heather Ferguson (College of Health & Human Services)
  • Roy Gaton (Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary)


  • Lorena Bidwell (Center for Distance Learning & Instructional Technology)


  • David Springer (MDiv student, president of the Andrews University Graduate Student Association)


  • Bradley Sheppard (president, Andrews University Alumni Association; assistant superintendent of instruction at Elkhart Community Schools)

This is a total of 13 members.

Again, the Search Committee will meet for the first time on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, and its first organizational meeting will confirm plans for the process we will follow.

There is also a small group working on criteria for a new president. This preparation includes developing interview questions and an evaluation instrument that the Search Committee will use after the interviews, which will be analyzed statistically. Finally, we assigned each of the Committee members to consult with the groups they represent to receive input for the Search Committee regarding characteristics needed in a president, names and other suggestions.

The dates of future Search Committee meetings, subject to change if necessary, will be Oct. 13, Nov. 21 and Dec. 15, 2022.

Interviews of select presidential candidates will take place between Jan. 22–24, 2023.

In a final meeting of the AUPSC on Feb. 21, 2023, members will complete a final review of the candidates and recommend at least two names to be considered by the Board of Trustees during its March 7, 2023, meeting.

The seventh president of Andrews University will be selected at that Board meeting, which will offer some overlap and transitional time before President Luxton’s retirement in June.

We will use a Presidential Search website where we will post appropriate information, such as is being shared in this letter, for the campus and public to view. There is also an email address where anyone can send a message to the Search Committee with suggestions of names or characteristics of a president or needs of the University, etc. That email address is

Please avoid trying to learn detailed information from our Search Committee members. As was the case with our last presidential search, which helped identify President Luxton as our current president, the Search Committee voted a formal action that “the Chairperson of the Committee is the sole authorized spokesperson for the Committee.”

However, please feel free to give information and recommendations to the members of the Search Committee. In fact, the task between now and our meetings in the latter part of 2022 is to gather criteria and names to make a long list that we will begin screening at our Committee meetings.

As we begin our work together, we wish to continually seek the guidance and leading of the Lord in our work.

The individual we seek to carefully—and prayerfully—choose is not yet known to us.

However, we trust that the individual chosen will reflect the thoughtful and careful work of our Search Committee as it is guided by input from our Andrews University community at large and, ultimately, as our Committee seeks and receives the influence and guidance of God in this important and essential work.

In closing, we want to invite your immediate participation as well.

On the Andrews University campus, there will be a time set aside for our Andrews University community to pray for this work that our Search Committee is preparing to do. If you attended the University Convocation on our Berrien Springs campus, you will have also heard about this season of prayer — and I invite you to join with our global Andrews University family in praying for God's blessings on this search process.

We cherish your involvement and interest for that season of prayer. But we also urge, and welcome, your prayers and input in the weeks and months to come for the ongoing work our Search Committee will do together as we seek to carefully identify and select the next leader of Andrews University.

Artur A. Stele, chair
Andrews University Presidential Search Committee
Andrews University Board of Trustees