The president of Harding University announced that he will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
Dr. David B. Burks will step down from the presidency after 26 years at the university associated with the Church of Christ located in Searcy, Ark. According to a news release from the university, Burks turned in his resignation letter during a board meeting on Oct. 28.
“By making this announcement now I am giving the Board sufficient time to search for my successor,” Burks said. “I will do everything I can to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.”
Burks has promised to stay dedicated to the goals and missions of Harding University, according to the news release.
“Slightly over 19 months remain before my departure, but there is still much to be done, including the completion of the university’s current five-year strategic plan,” Burks said. “I expect to be working to achieve all of those goals until my last day in office.”
Burks is only the fourth university president since Harding’s establishment 87 years ago. During his presidency, the university has seen a rise in enrollment.
“The work Dr. Burks does is extraordinary, showing vision and faith and a track record of success and excellence,” said Dr. John O. Simmons, chairman of Harding’s Board of Trustees.
Simmons said Burks has been dedicated to continuing Harding’s reputation of academic rigor and integrity.
“His leadership has continued the work of his predecessors by expanding the university’s degree programs, improving the fiscal stability of the university and developing other initiatives to enhance the Harding experience for students by integrating faith, learning and living,” he said.
Upon his resignation from the office of president, Burks will become chancellor of the university. The current chancellor, Dr. Clifton L. Ganus, Jr., will fulfill the role of chancellor emeritus.
Simmons said the search for Burk’s replacement will begin immediately.
“The Board and this committee will work initially to refine its processes while listening, focusing and doing its due diligence,” Simmons said. “We understand the importance of this position and the truly global and eternal impact the president of Harding University has.”
With Burks’ looming retirement, Harding University joins Oklahoma Christian and Lubbock Christian in a search for a new university president.
Simmons said the university trusts in God to find Burk’s successor.
“We believe God has been preparing someone to fill this unique role. We will be in prayer and ask for the prayers of others for the committee and Harding as we proceed with our work.”