WWU chooses past president for future

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— Former Walla Walla University President John McVay has been selected to serve once more by the university’s Board of Trustees.

McVay, who led the college from 2006 through July 1 of this year, announced his plans to resign as president last winter to return to teaching and research. A search for a new president was conducted this spring, but proved unsuccessful after the Board of Trustees rejected the candidate selected by a presidential search committee. McVay will begin his new term Jan. 1.

“We are delighted that Dr. John McVay has consented to continue his leadership of Walla Walla University upon the completion of his current study leave/sabbatical “ said Max C. Torkelsen II, chairman of WWU’s trustees, in a statement. “Dr. McVay enjoys the trust and respect of his colleagues on campus as well as the broader constituency across the Pacific Northwest. He has that rare combination of gifts for scholarship and research, education and experience, and administrative skills which uniquely qualify him to lead our university.”

During his first term, McVay led strategic planning efforts for the university and instituted long-range budget planning. He championed renovations for the School of Social Work and Sociology, School of Nursing and Marketing and Enrollment Services. In 2011, the university welcomed its largest freshman class in 17 years and yielded the highest freshman-to-sophomore retention rate in university history.

McVay will work with interim President Steve Rose, who is WWU’s vice president for financial administration.

“I am excited at the prospect of leading the university with the perspective of the past few years,” McVay is quoted in a statement. “While I looked forward to working with students and furthering my research work, the prospect of leading the next phase of Walla Walla University’s story is energizing to me.”

McVay says two of his priorities in his second time around will include constituent relations and philanthropy. “As we look to the future, Walla Walla University will need many friends and considerable funding. I’m looking forward to making the case that the university is a great investment in the future.” he said.

McVay, a biblical scholar, is working on academic research projects and will use the intervening months until January to make further progress.

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