On Oct. 1, President Michael Lindsay announced the hire of Jewerl Maxwell as provost and Holly Whitby as vice president for enrollment and marketing.
The previous provost, Michael Hammond, left the position in May to take the position of president of Gordon College. Tom Jones, former dean of arts and humanities, has been serving at the interim provost since.
Maxwell is set to start in the position during November, but Jones has agreed to stay on for the remainder of the semester year to graft Maxwell into the role. The Maxwell family — Jewerl, Ashley, Esme, Eli and Parker — will move to Upland in November.
“We have known about Taylor for more than a decade and as we prayed about where the Lord was leading us next, got the sense that Taylor could be the place,” Maxwell said. “We desired to join a university that is Christ-centered, committed to the liberal arts, devoted to faith integration, committed to global engagement, and has a vibrant community. We found all of these things and more when we encountered Taylor.”
Maxwell is currently serving as vice president of academic initiatives and dean for the school of graduate, professional and extended studies at Gordon College. He will be joining faculty Lindsay and Will Hagen, vice president for strategy and chief of staff, who also were recently hired from Gordon.
In an email to the Taylor community from Lindsay, Ed Meadors, professor of biblical studies and co-chair of the provost search committee (PSC), addressed the back-to-back hires from Gordon’s administration.
“In making our recommendation of Dr. Maxwell, the PSC [was] aware that some in the Taylor community may question the wisdom of hiring another administrative leader from Gordon,” Meadors said. “Even despite some of our initial misgivings about another senior leader from a single institution, we are confident that Jewerl Maxwell is the best candidate, all things considered, for the maximal success of the corporate Taylor mission.”
Whitby, on the other hand, comes from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has served there in several higher leadership roles, but most recently as vice president of enrollment, marketing and athletics.
According to Lindsay, Trevecca’s undergraduate enrollment grew 50% under Whitby’s leadership, with this fall marking an all-time freshman record.
Lindsay also wrote that these appointments were made with three key desires from the Taylor community: more input to senior leadership, more diverse voices among leadership and greater investment in faculty and staff. After a comprehensive search process, Maxwell and Whitby were selected as the best candidates for their respective roles.
“Both come as the clear standouts from nationwide searches that involved hundreds of interested individuals,” Lindsay said in a statement to The Echo. “It was important to me that both searches involve a significant number of colleagues across campus.… I am confident both of them will make wise, Godly, and significant contributions to our campus community in the days ahead.”
Knowing Maxwell from their work together at Cedarville University, the Rev. Greg Dyson said he’s looking forward to how Maxwell will bring his creativity and innovation to Taylor.
Maxwell hopes to use his position to establish relationships both on and off campus with faculty, staff, athletics, admissions, student life, church relations and more, both locally and internationally.
As vice president for intercultural leadership and church relations, Dyson also said he’s looking forward to the gender diversity that Whitby will bring to the university’s senior leadership team.
“Both of our newest additions to the Taylor community are strategic and timely,” Dyson said. “Their passion for Jesus Christ, appreciation, and connection to Taylor University combined with their strong leadership abilities, uniquely qualify them for their roles on campus."
Additionally, Lindsay announced the appointment of Jill Hamilton Anschutz (‘07) and Sarah Brown Flick (‘92) to the Board of Trustees.
With the senior leadership positions at Taylor filled, Lindsay also said the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and President’s Cabinet will resume regular meetings.
The SLT was established two years ago by Interim President Emeritus Paige Comstock Cunningham to receive counsel on important campus decisions about Taylor personnel, policies and resources. Lindsay stated he hopes to add several more members to the cabinet in the coming months.
Moving forward, Taylor is still looking to fulfill Jones’ previous position as dean.