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ETBU president resigning to accept presidency of TN university

ETBU president resigning to accept presidency of TN university
The School Yard
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 5:46am

The East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) Board of Trustees has announced today the pending resignation of its 12th President, Dr. Samuel W. "Dub" Oliver, to accept the presidency of Union University located in Jackson, Tennessee effective June 1, 2014. The ETBU Trustees wish to express their sincere thanks to Dr. Oliver for five years of excellent and dedicated service to ETBU.

The Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for Tuesday, February 11 to select a Presidential Search Committee tasked with immediately beginning a search for an outstanding and exceptional 13th President for ETBU.

"East Texas Baptist University is a special place and it's not easy to contemplate leaving the good work Susie and I have here. However, we desire to exercise the utmost responsiveness to God's call, and to be willing to follow Him wherever He leads," remarked Dr. Oliver in an e-mail to the campus community. "We have been blessed beyond measure by the many relationships we have formed during our time at ETBU and in Marshall. We remain confident that God will continue the many good things happening at ETBU."

"Dr. Dub Oliver has done an outstanding job leading East Texas Baptist University," said ETBU Board Chair Judge David Anderson. "During the past five years he has served, there have been many advances and positive accomplishments. Our prayers and deep gratitude will go with him."

During Dr. Oliver's time at ETBU, major campus additions and improvements have included the construction of the new 32,000 square foot Ornelas Student Center as well as the complete remodeling of the former student center into the Bennett Student Commons. Currently under construction is Centennial Hall, a new 362 bed living learning center, that will be ready for occupancy this fall. Also, the construction of a new tennis complex is being evaluated. In addition to building projects, the University has also added four new graduate programs in Education, Religion, Counseling, and Business which help further the mission and vision of ETBU.

Dr. Oliver will remain at ETBU through May 31, 2014. ETBU has strong and capable senior leadership with Dr. Lawrence Ressler (Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs), Vince Blankenship (Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing), Dr. Scott Bryant (University Chaplain and Vice President for Spiritual Development), Ned Calvert (Vice President for Administration and Finance), Catherine Crawford (Vice President for University Advancement), Kent Reeves (Athletic Director), and Dr. Xavier Whitaker (Vice President for Student Affairs) who, along with the faculty and staff, will continue to function as the experienced senior team at ETBU.

East Texas Baptist University offers graduate programs in business, counseling, religion and education, as well as 40 undergraduate degree programs. ETBU provides a Christ centered education that emphasizes the integration of faith and learning. The ETBU experience is known for "Embracing Faith, Engaging Minds, and Empowering Leaders." For information, visit

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