Incoming President Dr. David King paid a visit to campus on Friday, Oct. 4 when he was formally introduced to faculty and staff in the Johnson Center Dining Hall at 10 a.m. King delivered a brief speech and answered questions from faculty during the course of an hour-long introduction.
“This is a very deep and real manifestation for us of a very real sense of calling,” King said to an attentive audience of faculty and staff.
“We feel a deep sense of calling to this place at this time,” he said.
Over the course of the meeting, King discussed some of his goals for his presidency, which will officially begin in January. He also reflected on his time at Eastern University, where he spent the past 20 years of his career and most recently served as provost.
King emphasized the common values that both Malone and Eastern hold. However, he also spoke optimistically about his future at Malone.
“We won’t experientially share your history, but we will share your future,” he said. “And again, that will be our future.”
Coincidentally, King also has a local connection to the area. He grew up not far from Canton. His parents lived in Dalton until recently and he currently has siblings in Dalton and Wadsworth.
“There’s an element for me where this is coming home,” King said.
Part of coming home involves leaving family King has in Pennsylvania, however. King and his wife, Winnie, have two children who are married. King also has a grandchild in the Philadelphia area.
Of all his career accomplishments, King said the one thing he is most proud of is his family. For King, this emphasis on relationships is something that also spills over into his professional life.
“I think you will soon see me as someone who is relationship-oriented,” he said. “I think in an organizational context, you advance what you are trying to do through relationships largely.”
King said he values any chances he gets to spend time with students — which was something he was able to begin doing later that afternoon when he ate lunch in the Hoover Dining Commons.
King began his career in human resources — in fact, he has a master’s degree in human services administration and human resources development from Villanova University. His career path has led him in some unforeseen directions.
“The question is, ‘How did a guy who started his career in human resources end up as a provost of a university?’” he said. “It’s very simple: the faculty trusted and respected me.”
[pullquote]“We won’t experientially share your history, but we will share your future,” he said. “And again, that will be our future.”[/pullquote]
King’s wife, Winnie, shared her thoughts on the transition from Eastern to Malone.
“We are going down a new road we have never been before,” Winnie King said. “We are going to be together and do the best we can. We know we are called here.
“A lot of the details are unknown to us, but we are excited to find out. The hardest thing is leaving family of course, but we will be together, and we are looking forward to that.”
King was introduced to faculty and staff by Chair of the Board of Trustees Steve Steer and Vice Chair Stephen Weingart.
According to Weingart, the Board’s Executive Committee began the search for a new president in March. Presidents from other Council for Christian Colleges and Universities were consulted in the search. Meetings to determine who would become the next president took place in airports and hotels across the country.
In early October, the executive committee nominated King as a finalist for the position. Interim President Will Friesen was also named a finalist.
King was officially selected as president after a vote of unanimous consent from the board of trustees later in the month.
“Although Malone’s not a perfect place and we’ve gone through some rough times over the past couple years, we got the sense that Malone was poised to go to the next level,” Weingart said.
According to Steer, a transition team is being formed to help King as he takes over the reins. The team will continue to help King even after he formally assumes duties after the first of the year. Steer also cautioned that King may not be on campus immediately after the beginning of the year because he has to attend conferences.
Steer also addressed the issue of Interim President Will Friesen’s future at Malone.
“I can’t disclose all the commitments that have been made, but I want to say two things: We will have options and there is not a sense of urgency,” Steer said.
Friesen’s tenure as interim president is quickly coming to a close, which means decisions will need to be made soon. Steer said an announcement about whether Friesen will remain at Malone in some capacity or will be moving elsewhere should be made after he and Friesen get a chance to discuss the options over the next few weeks.