Hannibal-LaGrange University ready to begin search for next president


HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at Hannibal-LaGrange University recently announced the process for identifying the school’s next president.

The Executive Committee, which is serving as the search committee, received an update Tuesday, July 12 from Transitional President Rodney Harrison related to the 2022-23 budget and the decision to announce the restoration of hours, pay and benefits for returning employees on Aug. 1.

“The austerity measures, along with the outpouring of support from churches, individuals, community and convention, are a significant piece in the story of how God has kept the mission of HLGU alive,” Harrison said in a press release.

The search committee is encouraging qualified candidates to indicate interest by July 29.

“We covet the prayers of Missouri Baptists as we begin this search process,” said Mark Anderson, board chair and pastor of Lynwood Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau. “Our greatest desire is to find the person the Lord has to lead HLGU in the years to come. God has been faithful to bring us to this point, and we believe He will continue to be faithful in this search process. I want to express my deepest gratitude for the overwhelming, sacrificial support we have received over the past few months. We believe with confidence that God is at work at HLGU.”

Anderson also expressed appreciation to Harrison for his volunteer service as transitional president while also fulfilling his role as president of Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries.

“It has been a privilege to help HLGU, but I am truly looking forward to being able to devote full attention to the ministry of Baptist Homes to which I am called,” Harrison said.

A board-appointed task force has received weekly updates since January on the health of the university from Harrison.

“At the beginning of March, all financial indicators showed the university must close by the end of the month,” Anderson said. “In just four months, a revised business model has been put into place that is sustainable and scalable.”

Anderson said one of the first roles of the new president will be to lead the university through a strategic planning process.

The financial forecast for the university on March 3 showed HLGU was 27 days away from exhausting its $1 million line of credit while having outstanding bills of nearly $900,000. Closing the university was a consideration during this time.

On the morning of May 2, the leaders of Hannibal-LaGrange University told faculty and staff they had raised $1.5 million and would remain open for the fall semester. A few hours after the meeting, administrators began calling individual faculty and staff into Harrison’s office. The university needed to let people go to help fulfill an additional $1.1 million in cost-saving austerity measures.

People interested in applying for the presidential position should send a resume and cover letter by July 29 to HLGU’s Office of Human Resources, 2800 Palmyra Road, Hannibal, Mo., 63401 or via email at HumanResources@hlg.edu. Review of materials will begin as received and continue until an adequate pool is established or until the appointment is made.

Hannibal-LaGrange University is a four-year Christian university fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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