UCM’s potential grows with new Vice President

After sixty applicants applied for the position of new Vice President of UCM, Lee Wilhite takes the position.

After+sixty+applicants+applied+for+the+position+of+new+Vice+President+of+UCM%2C+Lee+Wilhite+takes+the+position.+%7C+Melanie+Kim%2FTHE+CHIMES

After sixty applicants applied for the position of new Vice President of UCM, Lee Wilhite takes the position. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Sarah Pineda, Writer

After months of extensive searching, Biola’s Communication and Marketing department hired Lee Wilhite as its new vice president. Wilhite expects to take UCM to a higher level after starting his new position on Dec. 1, 2014.

The search for the position began in May 2014 where the Search Advisory Committee, composed of nine members and President Dr. Barry Corey as the tenth member, hired an outside recruiter company named Credo from North Carolina, to help them find a match for the position. The outside recruiter received fifty to sixty applicants and assisted in narrowing the list of applicants to four tiers based on their experience, leadership skills and ability to help Biola grow in the UCM department from the criteria given by the search advisory committee.

“First and foremost, we were looking for someone that was going to fit well in the university,” said Michael Pierce, vice president of business and financial affairs and chair of the Search Advisory Committee.

FINDING A NEW LEADER

Soliciting to as many candidates for the position as possible, the Search Advisory Committee and the outside recruiter publicized the open position on career websites and Biola’s website, which led to the discovery of Wilhite, who placed in the top tier of applicants.

“I think that with his leadership, UCM will have the ability to be the best marketing and communication department of certainly any university in the CCCU,” Pierce said.

With 23 years in experience of marketing and communication, Wilhite hopes to bring change into UCM by implementing principles that will help grow the department and Biola.

“I want to establish trust with the team so they can prove they have a capable leader within themselves,” explains Wilhite.

Wilhite plans to further the mission of Biola, attract students to obtain an education at Biola, and collaborate with other schools and other departments within the university to help achieve their goals and recognize their success.

“I want to be a voice, ambassador and advocate for Biola University,” said Wilhite.

KEEP BELIEVING

Having worked with numerous marketing and development agencies serving Christian non-profit organizations, Wilhite decided to leave his current position as Executive Vice President for Masterworks, a marketing and development agency, to expand his career in the field.

“I’ve been really seeking the Lord for his direction in my life, and that’s where I discovered the opportunity here at Biola,” said Wilhite.

After hearing Dr. Corey speak at a Christian family conference in Oregon, Biola impressed Wilhite and he visited to receive a tour of the campus. While sitting at home one Saturday, Wilhite pondered on where God was leading him when he remembered Biola and went onto the website and discovered the open vice president position. Wilhite entered the hiring process with confidence and excitement but felt humbled for the opportunity.

With help from Brian Miller, who served as the Interim Vice President of UCM, Wilhite understands the importance for him to listen and ask questions in his first months to prepare himself for what will come.

“I want to work hard in building a world class communication team here at Biola,” said Wilhite.

Before accepting his role at Biola, Wilhite lived in Washington with his wife Leeta and his three children, Olivia, Annelisse and Cameron. As he begins his new position this December, he has moved to Southern California and his family will join him next summer after the completion of the school year.

Around his wrist, Wilhite wears a red rubber bracelet that says, “Keep Believing.”

“These last couple of months I’ve been given this opportunity and I’m just going to keep believing for God’s will in my life,” said Wilhite

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