Experienced educator will serve as the educational institution’s seventh president.
Published on: 03-07-2023
On March 7, the Andrews University Board of Trustees in executive session elected John Wesley Taylor V to serve as the next president of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States. When Taylor is confirmed at the board’s next full meeting, he will be the university’s seventh president (and 25th president overall since Andrews University first began as Battle Creek College).
Taylor will replace Andrea Luxton, who is retiring on July 1 after serving for seven years as president of Andrews University and as the university provost for six years before that.
Prior to becoming president-elect, Taylor has served as associate director of the Department of Education at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists since 2010 and as executive secretary of the Adventist Accrediting Association. He’s also served as a professor and dean of the School of Education and Psychology at Southern Adventist University and a professor, associate dean, and director of doctoral programs at the School of Graduate Studies at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines. He also served as a professor and founding dean of the Division of Graduate Studies at Montemorelos University in Mexico.
Taylor holds both PhD and master’s degrees from Andrews University, an EdD from the University of Virginia, and a master’s degree from University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Taylor has presented at a wide array of conferences and professional development events around the world and has authored and co-authored articles in a number of academic and professional journals.
Taylor’s wife, Miriam (Wells), works as a community development coordinator and event planner for Hope Channel, Inc., and holds a master’s degree from Salford University.
His daughter Carolyn (Taylor) Clayton holds a master’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver and works as a principal software engineer at Oracle. His son, John Wesley Taylor VI, holds a DPT from Andrews University and works for Adventist Health in California.
Taylor’s son John was the third generation to have graduated from Andrews University. Taylor’s father, John Wesley Taylor IV, holds an Master of Divinity degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.
“I have a vision for Andrews University,” Taylor said. “That vision is for our Andrews University to be mission focused, to exemplify exceptional excellence in academics and services, be nimble in process and program, and be committed. Committed to God and His word, to the philosophy of Adventist education, to our university’s heritage and values, to create a warm and supportive setting for faculty and staff, and to serve its students and constituents well.
“By God’s grace, I endeavor to lead with empathy and compassion, with a clear sense of purpose, and with moral and ethical integrity. Throughout our university, I will seek to advance the biblical worldview and to promote strategies that nurture faith,” Taylor added.
The selection of Taylor was guided by the work of a board-appointed Presidential Search Committee, which began meeting in September 2022, following Luxton’s announcement of her plans to retire in the May 26, 2022, board meeting. Chairperson of the Presidential Search Committee was Artur Stele, who also chairs the Andrews University Board of Trustees.
“It has been a challenging and ultimately rewarding process,” Stele said. “This committee has been very careful and conscientious in evaluating almost 150 different well-qualified candidates from around the world — which included a number of minorities, women, and men. The careful and prayer-filled work led to the recommendation of two candidates to the university’s Board of Trustees earlier today. After review of the final candidates in today’s meeting, our board prayerfully selected and formally voted for Taylor to serve as the next president of Andrews University.”
“While some names on our list withdrew of their own accord, we eventually had a well-qualified short list of candidates to choose from. We believe that Taylor, who our board has now voted as Andrews University’s next president-elect, reflects an opportunity to continue the visionary, thoughtful, and God-centered leadership that President Luxton has offered to Andrews over the last seven years.”
Stele added, “While we have been seriously praying for God’s guidance of this search process, we all now need to pray even more for our new president as he seeks God’s leading and influence, and especially as he works closely with the Andrews University community — students, employees, graduates and friends around the world — as President-elect Taylor and that community seek to reflect and fulfill God’s will for His university.”
Today’s vote came after several months of meetings, evaluation of candidates, and interviews. The Presidential Search Committee met for the final time on February 21, 2023, for a review and confirmation of their final choices. At that meeting, two names were confirmed by the Committee and were formally submitted to the Andrews University Board of Trustees for its vote today.
The election of the new president was made by secret ballot in the executive session of the Board (Andrews University representatives, which includes the President’s Cabinet and the Academic Deans Council, are invitees to the Board and thus were not present for this vote by the Board in executive session).
Taylor, who is now president-elect of Andrews University, will be formally confirmed as the university’s next president by a vote of the newly seated Andrews University Board of Trustees at its June 1, 2023, meeting.
“I have been truly blessed to have spent the last 13 years at Andrews University, with the last seven as president,” retiring president of Andrews University Andrea Luxton said. “My executive team and the Board of Trustees have walked alongside me in this incredible journey. The campus community, both students and employees, have brought joy to those years, with their energy, encouragement, and commitment. And the alumni and friends of the university have continued to enrich our community with their gifts and stories.
“In this context, I welcome Dr. Taylor to the presidency of this amazing university,” Luxton said. “I have confidence that under his leadership the university will thrive both spiritually and academically. I know his unique talents will enrich this campus community both now and in future years.”