HLGU chooses ‘transitional’ president

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Dr. Rodney A. Harrison

Hannibal-LaGrange University has selected what the college is calling a ‘transitional’ president and plans to discuss ‘financial and institutional’ challenges with faculty and students this week.

The university will continue its search for a permanent president.

Dr. Rodney A. Harrison began the job on Monday. He serves as the president of Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries in Missouri since April 2020, and will continue in that role.

Dr. Anthony W. Allen resigned as the university’s president in January.

Pastor Mark Anderson, chair of the HLGU Board of Trustees said, “I am very excited Dr. Harrison will lead HLGU during this season of transition. He is well qualified as an individual serving in higher education for many years combined with the character of Christ. He knows HLGU well and its constituents throughout our state and beyond. I believe Dr. Harrison will do an excellent job during the interim period preparing us for our next president and the bright future God has for HLGU.”

Harrison has extensive experience in higher education, including serving as dean of institutional effectiveness and on the executive cabinet at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 2006-2020, and consulting with the Higher Learning Commission from 2005 to present.

“Dr Harrison brings a wealth of administrative and educational leadership to Hannibal-LaGrange. I look forward to working alongside him in the days ahead,” said Dr. Robert Matz, vice president for academic administration, dean of faculty, and former acting president.

“HLGU is one of the great stories of Baptist cooperation,” Harrison said. “This institution has served Baptists in Missouri since 1858. With this understanding of the school’s place in history, it is my joy and privilege as president of Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries to assist HLGU while a presidential search is underway. At the request of the HLGU board, and with unanimous support of the Baptist Homes executive committee, I am in a position to give a gift of time, talents, and treasures to the needs of the University during this season of transition. My immediate objective is to work with the board, executive team, and the MBC to keep the mission of HLGU alive for the next generation as they pursue a university education forged in a biblically informed worldview.”

Following Harrison’s appointment, the HLGU trustees and administration are meeting with faculty, staff, and students this week to share updates regarding the college’s current financial and institutional challenges.

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