Anderson University and Colleges and Universities and Leadership Transition and Education & Workforce Development

Anderson University president plans to step down

March 4, 2014

 The longtime president of Anderson University is stepping down from the office, although he didn't call it a retirement.

"I'm not sure what retirement means, and I haven't come to terms with that," James Edwards said Monday. "But my wife and I have been making plans, and I thought it was in the best interest of the university to work on the transition thing."

Edwards said he'll step down at the end of the 2014-2015 school year after nearly 25 years of leading the Christian university, according to The Herald Bulletin. Anderson is a community of 55,500 people about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The school has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 2,000.

Edwards is only the fourth person to hold the office in the school's 97-year history.

Lou Gerig, chair of the Anderson University board of trustees, said in a statement that a transition plan would be announced soon.

"He did a magnificent job of holding these two points in dynamic tension," Carl Caldwell, Anderson University's former executive vice president for academic affairs, said of Edwards.

Gerig said in a prepared statement that Edwards "positioned Anderson University as a distinguished Christian institution and has taken the door of the university to Indianapolis and beyond. He has advanced the mission of AU greatly through facilities, programs and financial support."

Edwards oversaw fundraising campaigns that brought in more than $205 million and the construction of several campus buildings, the statement said.

Edwards is an ordained minister of the Church of God and has served as a pastor. He is a graduate of Anderson University and its School of Theology. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree in educational policy and leadership at Ohio State University.

Before his election as president of Anderson University, which has an enrollment of about 2,500, Edwards was president and CEO for Warner Press, the publishing house for the Church of God.

"I think our sense of distinctiveness as a Christian university has created a special place for us," Edwards said.

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