The Board of Trustees for Greenville University convened Sunday, April 26 and accepted the resignation of Ivan Filby, who has served the institution as President since 2013.
As he entered his third term, Filby approached the Board Chair about an appropriate time to bring his presidency to a close, and continued to make the timing of that action a prayerful decision. Together, they agreed that 2019-20 was not the appropriate time given a pending mid- cycle visit from the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting body for the institution. Greenville University received high marks from the HLC, indicating institutional compliance with all accreditation requirements.
With the COVID-19 crisis impacting higher education in unpredictable ways, Filby sensed that this might be a good time to transition from his role. His resignation would offer the university significant savings and provide a final opportunity for him to lead out in a positive way for the good of the institution. The Board of Trustees has appointed Executive Vice President Suzanne Davis as Acting President for the remaining two-year term. The board of trustees granted the Filby’s a well-deserved sabbatical through the end of July.
“As I started my adventure with Greenville University, I couldn’t have imagined the opportunities and challenges ahead. I have served as a professor, department chair, faculty moderator, and now I’m in my third term as president. I’ve interacted with hundreds of bright and inspiring students. I’ve worked with brilliant and creative faculty. I’ve traveled the country and the world as an advocate and spokesperson for this great institution. My life has been deeply enriched by my experiences with Greenville, and I feel enormous gratitude for God’s faithfulness each step,” says Filby.
Fifteen years ago, Ivan and his family came from Dublin, Ireland to Greenville University, where he and his wife Kathie served as faculty for a number of years. In that time, Filby enjoyed building relationships with students, faculty and staff. He developed new programs, directed AgapeFest, a GU sponsored Christian music festival, and served as faculty assembly moderator. He embraced the mission of transforming student lives for character and service and observed each semester how students and colleagues were uniquely created by God to change the world.
The president and first lady have a strong sense that the Lord has a new assignment for them. They have spent their lives saying “yes” to Jesus even before knowing what he is calling them to do.
In an open letter, Filby paid special tribute to students, faculty and alumni. “Their passion, dreams and faithful testimonies have touched and energized me. Personally, I have witnessed beautiful work of Jesus through healing, restoration, and chains broken across this campus and in my travels around the world.” Filby gave special thanks to the Board of Trustees. “They have been a constant source of advice, encouragement and support during the past seven years.” He expressed love and appreciation for the GU community. “I believe deeply in the good and important work we do. In an age of cynicism, with so many focused on the divisions in our society, Greenville University represents what a talented, diverse and dedicated team can achieve together. The past 7 years as your president have been unimaginably fulfilling and rewarding. I thank all of you for your support and I look forward to the next phase of this wonderful institution.”