BEAVER FALLS –– Geneva College President Kenneth A. Smith is resigning, effective June 30, the college announced Tuesday.
“We’re going to miss him here, obviously,” college spokeswoman Cheryl Johston said.
Smith has been president of the Beaver Falls-based college for 11 years.
He’s leaving to become dean of the McLane College of Business at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, Johnston said.
William Edgar will serve as interim president until a replacement is named. Edgar is past chairman of the college’s board of trustees.
What this article does not say is that Smith was no friend of the liberal arts at Geneva. The liberal arts and humanities suffered greatly under Smith’s leadership. Perhaps a new president will restore the over-150 year-old Christian liberal arts tradition of this western Pennsylvania college.
By the way, I think it is fair to say that the problems with the liberal arts at Geneva was the subtext of Eric Miller’s recent piece in the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Read our coverage of that piece here.
Anna Wargo says
To those of us who dearly love Geneva, to cheer the resignation of our president is to insult us individually. Nobody can miss the recently ubiquitous conversations happening about all the “changes” in higher education. More than anything, at this moment, Christian schools that are dedicated to the gospel and teaching in this age need the support of those devoted to the same (listen to Rut's chapel message from today, 4/15). I have listened to a year straight of complaining and disrespecting our leaders within the higher education community for complicated issues that we cannot understand. All that I know is this response has been nothing but hurtful and has sown many seeds of discontent and bitterness. Let's not continue providing more negative voices-let's choose to encourage and respectfully support our leaders. This does not mean raising up our leaders as inerrant and all-knowing, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
John Fea says
Thanks for the post, Anna. I just want to clarify that I am not connected to Geneva College in any way, so Smith was not my “leader.” But I do think that this a news story that needs to be told and I tried to do it in an honest way and fair way.
I'm not sure how Dr. Fea's post was a “cheer” in any way. And it is possible to understand these issues. I think I do, since I know Pres. Smith fairly well and worked at your school for some time. I think Dr. Fea, considering his background, understands the issues more than you realize. I would hope that criticism and thought about the future of the liberal arts at a place like Geneva–which was once one of the bastions for this tradition–isn't merely seen as complaining or bitterness.