DAVIS & ELKINS COLLEGE ; Faculty Silent as Wood Named New President

By Jarvis, Jake | Charleston Gazette Mail, June 2, 2016 | Go to article overview

DAVIS & ELKINS COLLEGE ; Faculty Silent as Wood Named New President


Jarvis, Jake, Charleston Gazette Mail


The Board of Trustees at Davis & Elkins College has named Chris Wood the school's 15th president, replacing G.T. "Buck" Smith, who filled the role in the interim, according to a news release. Wood, a Huntington native, was selected from among more than 60 candidates following a yearlong search. He is currently the vice president for advancement at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. His appointment at Davis & Elkins begins Aug. 1.

"After a year of considering more than 60 candidates, we are delighted to welcome Chris and his wife Lisa back home to West Virginia, said June Myles, chairwoman of the board, in a news release. "They bring to D&E the exact qualities we have been seeking in a new president, and we look forward to him leading us into the future.

Linda Skidmore, a Davis & Elkins spokeswoman, said Wood could not take a call Wednesday.

In a statement, Wood says while he has not been actively seeking a college presidency, he found that D&E's liberal arts education offerings, faith-based roots and location in his home state were "enticing and captivating.

Wood has a bachelor's degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a post-graduate degree from Northwestern University's theological seminary.

The announcement came Wednesday morning less than a month after faculty members conducted a vote of no-confidence in Smith. Among other things, faculty condemned the man for the long-term costs of his short-term financial management of the school, his indifference to faculty concerns and his overall strategic vision for the school.

Several members of the faculty would not talk about the no- confidence vote or Smith's replacement. Some said they feared retribution from the school's administration or Board of Trustees or that commenting would hurt the school's relationship with its donors.

In a letter to the Board of Trustees, Smith attempted to discredit the no-confidence vote by suggesting that, had the entire faculty assembly been in attendance, the results would have been different. …

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