Former president Ferguson hired at Christian school in California

<p>Former president Paul W. Ferguson has been hired as the founding dean at Biola University's School of Science, Technology and Health. <em>DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY</em></p>

Former president Paul W. Ferguson has been hired as the founding dean at Biola University's School of Science, Technology and Health. DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

Former president Paul W. Ferguson, who resigned without explanation after only 18 months and three and a half years before his contract was up, has now landed a new job at Biola University — a private Christian school in California.

He has been named the school's founding dean of its School of Science, Technology and Health.

According to an article in Biola University's student newspaper, the search had four final candidates as of March, who were scheduled to meet with both professors and students before their search committee would ultimately choose the new dean.

As of then, no names had been announced, making the search seemingly closed — like Ball State's own current presidential search, which is scheduled to choose a new president as early as Fall 2016.

In April, Ferguson's name appeared on a list of applicants for a chancellor position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, along with 16 others.

Though he didn't get the Little Rock job, his new job at the southern California university will save Ball State money, according to Ferguson's original severance contract.

The contract outlined his "duty to mitigate," saying he must make "reasonable and diligent" efforts to gain a senior employment position in higher education or other employment in line with his expertise. Because Ferguson was hired at Biola University, the severance payment will be reduced — but it's not clear by how much.

The contract said Ball State's monthly payments to Ferguson would be reduced by the amount of his "new monthly base compensation" for the remaining months of the university's obligations.

If he had not found another senior position in his field by March 2017, Ball State would have paid him a total of about $561,400 as a severance package.

According to a Biola University news release, Ferguson's new job will be in effect as of July 11, though the university's new school is not scheduled to be open until 2017.

The news release said "Ferguson’s entrepreneurial and creative leadership has been consistently modeled throughout his career," and noted he is "passionate about leading in the integration of a Christian worldview with science, technology and health sciences education and scholarship."

Though the news release lists Ball State, along with five other schools, as a place where Ferguson has previously worked, his unexplained resignation is not mentioned.

Biola did say in its news release that during his time as Ball State's president, the university created a new College of Health and also secured a $62.5 million appropriation from the state to construct its new health building.

“I have enjoyed working at each institution with the faculty to promote impactful shared governance that translates into effective strategic planning and communication between the campus, system leadership and governing boards,” Ferguson said in the news release. "My wife, Grace, and I are led to close the chapter of our lives focused on public higher education. We are looking forward to building an integrated environment of faith and academics to educate young men and women to impact the world for Christ.”


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