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C. Pat Taylor
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C. Pat Taylor

SBU president spells out exit plan

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Southwest Baptist University President C. Pat Taylor set an Aug. 31 retirement date.

With 22 years as president of the Bolivar university, Taylor is the longest-serving leader in SBU’s 139-year history, according to a news release.

“The university is on a good trajectory, making this a great time for a transition to a bigger and greater future,” Taylor said in a news release.

Taylor and school administrators informed students this morning.

During Taylor’s tenure, SBU’s endowment funds have grown to more than $32 million from $4.6 million. He also was instrumental in a capital improvements campaign that raised $62.5 million to beat a $50 million goal in 2006. The campaign provided funding for 13 building projects. Fundraising totals under Taylor’s leadership have totaled more than $122 million, according to school officials.

A member of Springfield Business Journal’s 2016 class of Men of the Year, Taylor also is credited with leading the university toward the creation of its first doctoral program, as well as multiple new graduate degrees in education, health care and business, according to the release. He was installed as SBU’s 24th president Oct. 21, 1996, and has since conferred 16,963 diplomas.

SBU Board of Trustees Chairman Don Fahrni appointed a 12-person search committee that will first meet today. It comprises six trustees, a faculty member, an academic dean, an executive cabinet member, a staff member, a student and an alumna.

“The search committee begins its work today, with the goal of having a new president in place by Aug. 1,” Fahrni said in the release. “But if that doesn’t happen, we do have a succession plan for an interim president.”

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