Friends University Board of Trustees Chair Dr. John Lewis today announced the appointment of Dr. Darcy Zabel as Interim President for the University, following the resignation of President T.J. Arant.
Lewis said Dr. Arant offered his resignation during a special meeting of the board earlier today. The board accepted his resignation, which will be effective March 21. Dr. Arant has been president since July 1, 2011 when he succeeded Dr. Biff Green.
In his letter to the board, Arant said he intended to seek other opportunities.
“It has been my privilege to work with the faculty, staff, and Board to serve our students, and I leave with confidence that this steadfast and caring community will continue to thrive in the years ahead,” he wrote.
Lewis said the board is now looking toward the future. “We are confident that Dr. Zabel will provide the leadership we need, to take the university through this transition,” he said.
Dr. Zabel is currently Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Friends University. She has been a faculty member for more than 15 years. “I am honored to serve as the Interim President of Friends University, and to be the first woman in the history of Friends University to hold this position,” she said.
As Interim President, Dr. Zabel hopes to focus on the university’s strengths. “What Friends University does best is to combine the values of a liberal arts education with professional and pre-professional studies,” Dr. Zabel said.
“Students are invited to embrace an education that goes way beyond simply reading textbooks,” Dr. Zabel said. “Friends University challenges those who are in the traditional undergraduate program, the College of Adult and Professional Studies, and in the Graduate School to think on their feet, to work hard with their hands, hearts, and minds, to step up into leadership positions in fields like medicine, counseling, education, ministry, business, fine arts and not-for-profit or government organizations.”
She said all students are encouraged to use their time at Friends University to “launch them forward into the next five, fifteen, or fifty years of their lives in a way that is both civil and useful.” Friends University programs, Dr. Zabel said, are “grounded in the belief that men and women are most successful when they can integrate their intellectual lives with their social and spiritual lives in ways that will improve the world, adapt to change and to make a difference.”
Friends University offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate academic programs for traditional students and working adults. Rooted both in the liberal arts tradition and the Christian intellectual tradition, students learn inside and outside the classroom. Friends University is a regional university with national programs and an international presence.