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5-14-14 Southwestern Adventist University Names New President
by Darcy Force
|Ken Shaw, new SWAU President|
“We are thrilled that he has accepted the invitation,” says Larry Moore, chairman of Southwestern’s board of trustees. “We’ve felt the Lord’s leading through this entire search process and are happy to welcome Ken and his wife Ann into leadership.”
Shaw comes to Southwestern with a wealth of experience. He began his worked at FSU in 1989 after completing his doctorate from the University of Georgia. Shaw graduated from Southern Adventist University in 1980 with a B.A. in Mathematics. He spent nine years working full time as a faculty member in mathematics education at FSU Panama City.
After the Panama City dean announced his retirement in 1998, Shaw was asked to serve as Acting Dean until a replacement could be found. Those 18 months as dean opened his eyes to academic administration and he found it rewarding and enjoyable. From 2000-2005, while Shaw was the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, FSU Panama City was able to start 10 academic programs and added 25 full-time faculty to their campus. Shaw also assisted in the expansion of the campus by adding a $32 million Academic Center which houses engineering labs, offices and large meeting spaces for the community.
When Shaw was elected Dean in 2009, the small Panama City campus faced the threat of closure. An FSU Presidential Blue Ribbon Committee (consisting of community leaders) studied operations of FSU Panama City and recommended that the 985-student campus meet an enrollment target of 1400 by 2013. Under Shaw’s leadership this challenging goal was met. Currently FSU Panama City serves more than 1600 students.
The new president also comes with fundraising experience as Shaw is currently leading a $5 million campaign to support the endowment for FSU’s College of Applied Studies. Within 2 years, they have raised close to $3 million. Community is important to Shaw as he sits on various boards, such as: United Way of Northwest Florida Board, American Heart Association, Community Service Foundation, and two Chambers of Commerce. He is also an active lay leader in his local Seventh-day Adventist church.
“Being offered the presidency of Southwestern Adventist University is both exciting and humbling,” states Shaw. “It is exciting, as it will provide my wife and me new opportunities to meet and work with the great people associated with the University. With Southwestern celebrating its 120th year, I am humbled to be asked to serve as president of an institution with such rich history. It is an awesome privilege.”
Southwestern Adventist University has offered Christian education since 1893. A liberal-arts university, the beautiful campus is located in Keene, Texas, about 20 minutes south of Fort Worth. Southwestern offers 67 academic programs including business, nursing, and education, three masters programs, and many ways for students to get involved both on campus and abroad. With a student body that includes 20% international students and an average student/teacher ratio of 12:1, Southwestern offers a uniquely diverse and personal college experience.