Pacific Union College President Resigns
Richard Osborn’s eight-year tenure was marked by change, development controversy
eciding new leadership was required to advance the Seventh-day Adventist school’s strategic goals, Richard Osborn resigned April 9 as president of Pacific Union College in Angwin, California, effective June 30, 2009. He had served as college president since 2001.
A search is underway for a new president to head the 1,500-student institution founded in 1882. Osborn’s future plans were not disclosed.
The change comes on the heels of a report from a study committee formed in November, 2008 which contained “recommendations on how to strengthen specific programs and departments, better preparing PUC for continued success in the future,” the school said. Both Osborn and the trustees said “new leadership would best serve the college” as it addresses the recommendations.
“Eight years ago Norma and I enjoyed the honor of coming to this campus and community. “We have reminded ourselves that we will never live in such a beautiful place the rest of our lives and will leave with positive memories and thoughts about our wonderful college. May God bless each of you and the search process as we move forward,” Osborn said in a statement released by the school.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Pacific Union College, I would like to commend, Richard Osborn for the selfless ministry of leadership he has provided for PUC during the last eight years,” said board chair Ricardo Graham, who is also president of the sponsoring Pacific Union Conference. “The benefits of his leadership will be felt for years to come. We ask the entire constituency of Pacific Union College to pray for God’s guidance as we seek the right person to lead this esteemed Seventh-day Adventist educational institution into the future.“
Osborn came to PUC in 2001, having previously served vice president of education for the North American Division. During his tenure, the college continued in its tradition of outstanding, Christ-centered academics through consistently high rankings in national college journals; the largest number of graduates into medical and dental programs among Seventh-day Adventist higher education institutions; numerous acceptances of its students into the nation’s best graduate schools; and the countless students who have chosen to lead lives of service.
However, the school has also faced challenges in the community, specifically over development of an “eco-village,” which would include housing and new commercial projects with an environmentally friendly design. According to media reports, PUC hopes to raise money to strengthen its endowment with profits from the development. However, area residents, including actor Robert Redford, have stepped up to oppose the move.
--AR Staff with reporting from Pacific Union College