ne of the leading Adventist colleges in Europe has begun a search for a new leader. David Penner announced his resignation as principal, or chief executive, of Newbold College, located in Binfield, Bracknell, England, following six years in the position. Penner submitted his resignation at this stage in the year in order to facilitate the College's search for a successor and he will continue to serve until the summer, the school said.
Penner has not announced his future plans except that he “will begin to explore in the U.K. and the [United States] opportunities in the areas of teaching and administration, research and writing.”
Bertil Wiklander, president of the Trans-European Division and chair of the Newbold board, announced Penner’s decision at a Newbold Staff Forum meeting on February 6.
In a statement, Penner said: "I am honored to have been Principal of the College. I have enjoyed the years here with family, friends and colleagues. Combining [my] years as student and principal, I have for a decade called Binfield my home and in some ways it will always be home."
Wiklander added, "Dr. Penner has served the College faithfully and well during a challenging period in its history. Many changes in our world are affecting the College, especially in its student recruitment. With love and a particular eye for the human resource and aesthetic aspects of college operations, [he] has provided vision and care for the College. His keen historical insights and his connections in North America, as well as his splendid abilities as a teacher and great expertise in leadership training have been particularly valuable. I have personally appreciated working with David in a close and warm relationship. I wish him and his wife rich blessings in the future."
A search committee chaired by Wiklander will begin its work immediately, and hopes to appoint a new principal within three months. The committee will consist of one representative of the Newbold staff and four members of the College Board: Wiklander; Daniel Duda, Trans-European Division education director; Raafat Kamal, TED field secretary and Don McFarlane, British Union Conference president. The Newbold staff will elect its representative early next week.
Wiklander appealed to those who care about the future of Newbold to contact the committee with suggestions. He said: "As we seek a successor, our search committee will be glad to hear from those who would like their names to be considered and from others who would like to suggest names for our consideration. Newbold's principal makes a significant contribution to the work and leadership of the Church in Europe, and we want to make a thorough survey of the possibilities. Please feel free to email or phone me or Dr. Duda with your suggestions."
Newbold College is a Seventh-day Adventist college of higher education accredited by the Open University and the British Council. About 300 students study on the campus situated amongst rolling fields and wooded meadows in Binfield Village—40 miles west of London. The college is a partner institution of the University of Wales Lampeter and affiliated with Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, Maryland.
Newbold College started life in 1901 as Duncombe Hall College in Holloway, North London. Its purpose was to educate ministers and church workers for the Seventh-day Adventist church. The name of the college has changed many times since then as it has evolved from a missionary training school into a fully-fledged international college of higher education offering degrees and diplomas in a wide range of subjects. Among its past principals was Jan Paulsen, who is currently the General Conference president.
— Helen Pearson, public relations officer, Newbold College, with AR Stafff