March 20, 2013 Edition

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Startup returning
as academic dean



After an exhaustive, nationwide search, Williams Baptist College has found its academic dean, and he is the man who has held the job since 1995. WBC announced Thursday that Dr. Kenneth Startup has agreed to return as academic dean and vice president for academic affairs.

"This is incredibly good news for Williams Baptist College," said Williams President Dr. Tom Jones. "Our search committee did great work in seeking out a new academic dean, but that process merely reaffirmed that Dr. Startup had left a high standard to meet. His sense of calling to return to this position is truly an answered prayer for WBC."

Startup announced in the fall of 2011 that, after 17 years as academic dean, he would retire from that role at the end of the 2011-12 school year and return to the classroom as a history professor. He has served as acting dean since July while the college searched for his replacement.

Startup said WBC's recently completed strategic planning effort helped rekindle his desire to serve as academic dean.

"I've been increasingly excited by the prospects and opportunities for the college embodied in the new strategic Diamond Destiny Plan. I think this planning process really positions the college for a great future," he commented.

In particular, Startup said he is excited about academic initiatives that are in the works at WBC.

"We've begun some preliminary discussions of an honors program, and I'm very eager to see what we may be able to do along those lines," said the academic dean. "To be sure, the future of the college is in good hands. We have a superb, talented, experienced faculty and a veteran, gifted administrative leadership and staff. I think Dr. Jones's outstanding leadership is moving the college in a very positive direction."

Startup also indicated that he is excited about helping Williams celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2016.

"Williams has a great history," he said. "Our past leadership, most recently Dr. Jerol Swaim, positioned the college for a very hopeful, very promising future. As we approach our diamond anniversary, we have an excellent foundation to build a great future. I'm so pleased to be able to play some role in that very bright future of the college."

Startup has served as a history professor at Williams since 1983. An acknowledged scholar in the field of history, he holds a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, a master's degree from Virginia Tech and a bachelor's from the University of West Georgia. He and his wife, Alice, have two grown daughters.

"Dr. Startup is a valued scholar, intuitive administrator and trusted friend of Williams Baptist College," Jones said. "Although I respected his decision to step down as academic dean, it has been my strong desire all along that he would return to this position. I am thankful beyond words that the Lord has led him to do just that."

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