BREAKING: Science dean Paul Ferguson announced as next APU president

After this semester, Paul Ferguson will leave Biola to serve as Azusa Pacific University's 17th president.

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BREAKING: Science dean Paul Ferguson announced as next APU president

Courtesy of Azusa Pacific University

Courtesy of Azusa Pacific University

Courtesy of Azusa Pacific University

Christian Leonard, Editor-in-Chief

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Paul Ferguson, the founding dean of the school of Science, Technology and Health, will leave Biola University to serve as Azusa Pacific University’s 17th president.

In a mass email sent to students Wednesday morning, Biola president Barry Corey announced Ferguson will assume his new role at APU on June 1, allowing him to finish this academic year at Biola.

“This is an important move for Christian higher education and for APU, but it is a difficult loss for us at Biola University,” Corey said in a statement. “Paul will be greatly missed on campus. He has been a voice of wise counsel even beyond the School of Science, Technology and Health. I am deeply indebted to Paul for his many investments in Biola University, from the structural to the academic to the personal.”

Ferguson will be coming to APU in the midst of some sudden changes for the university, including the wake of a multimillion-dollar deficit and subsequent budget cuts, which resulted in the school’s Chief Financial Officer leaving his position. APU has also had some reversals and returns to its ban on same-sex relationships, with the policy most recently being removed from the guidelines.

“Dr. Ferguson will work to restore financial stability to APU,” said David Poole, chair of APU’s Board of Trustees in the university’s announcement of the hire. “I’m confident he will strengthen our position as a leading university in teaching, student development, and Christian service.”

Ferguson came to Biola as dean in 2016 and also serves as a professor of toxicology. Under his leadership, the school constructed the Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health and found its first endowed chair. He has also served in leadership at multiple other universities, including as president of Ball State University and the University of Maine.

Ferguson will take over for outgoing APU president Jon Wallace, who announced in April 2018 his intent to retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Wallace, a popular figure on APU’s campus, has been the school’s president since 2000 and will serve as president emeritus once Ferguson is installed.

“I’m confident [Ferguson] will advance APU’s mission to equip future generations of difference makers who will go out and reflect the light of Christ in the world,” Wallace said in a tweet Wednesday morning.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

Austin Green contributed to this story.