Perry addresses Westminster’s presidential transition

Dr. Carolyn Perry was appointed acting president of Westminster College on Aug. 18, 2017, after having served as senior vice president and dean of faculty for five years. 


More than 50 student organization heads and members filed into Hermann Lounge on Friday, Aug. 18, in response to an invitation they received from recently appointed Acting President Dr. Carolyn Perry. Perry said that she would discuss and take questions pertaining to the leadership transition that students were informed of less than an hour earlier.

In an email to students, new Westminster Board of Trustees Chair John M. Panettiere said that Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande had “stepped down” from his previous position as president of the college and that Perry, formerly the senior vice president and senior dean of faculty, would assume the duties of the presidency until the office could be filled permanently. Perry would be temporarily replaced by former Associate Vice President and Associate Dean of Faculty Dr. David Jones, the message continued.

Perry explained that she invited student leaders to attend the discussion because of their importance to the well-being of the college.

“The purpose of calling you together was to say, ‘We really need your help,’ especially in making sure that students are not nervous, are not having second thoughts about the college,” she said.

She added that she and the Board of Trustees members recognize that this transitionary period is a difficult time for the campus community but that Westminster will continue to function.

“Transitions are hard; change is hard,” she said. “Sometimes we have to do things we thought we’d never have to do. But, it’s okay, because the strength of this college is not dependent on a few people – it’s all of us put together. It’s the history of this place. It’s the thousands of alums who continue to support the college. It’s the education you’re receiving through your faculty and your staff. That’s what going to keep us strong.”

“This is not something that any of us have asked for, but this is a situation that has played itself out,” she added. “Our job is to move forward, so we’re going to that.”

After speaking to the audience, Perry held a Q&A session for those who attended the meeting. Those questions and answered can be viewed by clicking here.

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