The Erskine Board of Trustees met on Thursday, Feb. 2 for their first session of the calendar year. This was also their first meeting since Interim President Dr. Robert Gustafson took office Nov. 1, 2016.
The mostly informational meeting provided a time for the president to review his first three months on the job and provide his perspective on a path forward. He told trustees that much of his time for the first few weeks has been spent listening to various campus voices. Starting most mornings with a working breakfast in the dining hall, he said, has allowed him to interact informally with students.
Gustafson said he has spent significant time with seminary faculty and leadership listening and addressing concerns. Last year those concerns led seminary faculty to request the board to explore establishing the seminary as a separate entity.
Gustafson’s appointment of Dr. Leslie Holmes as provost of the seminary has been warmly welcomed by both the faculty and the board. Citing the need for stability and continuity, the board’s Seminary Committee, in agreement with the ad hoc committee studying the feasibility of a college-seminary separation, requested that the ad hoc committee be disbanded and that no further moves toward separation be taken at this time.
The trustees also reaffirmed the current slate of board officers to continue serving through the 2017-18 year. The officers are Sam James ’07, chairman; Tom Hellams ’83, vice chairman; and the Rev. Andrew Savill, secretary.