President Jerry Campbell to Retire in 2013

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 9:30AM

Jerry D. Campbell, sixth president of Claremont School of Theology and the founding president of Claremont Lincoln University, announced he will retire from both positions, effective June 30, 2013.

Jerry D. Campbell, sixth president of Claremont School of Theology and the founding president of Claremont Lincoln University, announced today his retirement from both positions, effective June 30, 2013.

Update, spring 2013: The Claremont Lincoln Board asked Pres. Campbell to stay on longer for leadership continuity for the new institution, and he agreed. So this retirement announcement only applies to CST, not Claremont Lincoln University. The new CST president will be the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Kuan - please see announcement here.

Though stepping away from day-to-day operations, Campbell has accepted an invitation from the Claremont Lincoln Board of Trustees to become University Chancellor on July 1, 2013. In this on-going role, Campbell will serve as a senior adviser and ambassador for Claremont Lincoln University.

President Jerry Campbell

"This is actually the second time I've retired," Campbell said. "When I retired from USC in 2005, I intended to spend a lot more time fly-fishing than I have over the last six years. Next summer will be the end of seven years at Claremont, and over 40 years in academic administration. So the time is right for a transition—for me personally and for these two schools."

An organizational visionary and seasoned administrator, Campbell came to Claremont in 2006 after a long and distinguished career in the administration of the libraries at University of Southern California and Duke University.

Campbell came to Claremont School of Theology during a troubled time in the school's history. On the verge of losing its accreditation in 2006, he helped steer the institution back into full compliance, leading the school to remove all sanctions against its accreditation status within three years.

"Jerry's understanding of the state of graduate education, his understanding of religion in America, and his faithfulness to The United Methodist Church, has made him a visionary for Claremont School of Theology," said David Richardson, Chair of the Claremont School of Theology Board of Trustees. "In his years as president, he has helped the school navigate difficult times and emerge with a healthy new trajectory for the future."

Recognizing the changing demographics of North America, Campbell and trustee David Lincoln led an effort to articulate a vision for a groundbreaking interreligious university. Under Campbell's leadership, and with generous financial support from the Lincoln family, Claremont School of Theology identified collaborating institutions—the Islamic Center of Southern California and the Academy for Jewish Religion, California—and with them founded Claremont Lincoln University in 2011, believed to be the world's first university to be jointly and equally owned by Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations. In May 2013, Claremont Lincoln will graduate its first class of masters and doctoral students.

"Jerry Campbell created a multireligious university where religions come together to address problems of the world to enhance peace, harmony, and understanding and reduce conflict among religions and nations," said David Lincoln, Chair of the Claremont Lincoln University Board of Trustees. "He simultaneously strengthened the individual religious organizations that are part of the university. This required outstanding skill and I am very pleased that he will be available in the future as Chancellor of the university to provide continuing guidance and mentor his successors."

To achieve independent accreditation, Claremont Lincoln must have its own president. In preparation for the formal split of Claremont Lincoln from Claremont School of Theology, the governing boards of both institutions will conduct searches for new presidents. The goal is to have two new chief executives in place by July 1, 2013.

An ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church, Jerry Dean Campbell has served as library director at Iliff School of Theology and Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He earned a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a Master of Library Science from the School of Library and Information Science of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). He has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus at UNC and at the institution granting his undergraduate degree, McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. His doctoral dissertation from the historically Methodist-related University of Denver focused on the emergence of biblical criticism in 19th century America.

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