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Dr. Ivan Filby named 12th president of Greenville College

Published: April 13, 2021

Affirming the recommendation of the presidential search committee, the Greenville College Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Ivan Filby as the College's twelfth president. Filby, who currently serves as dean of the Fermanian School of Business at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) in San Diego, officially begins his presidency on July 1, 2013. Prior to his position at PLNU, Filby served as professor and chair of the Management Department at Greenville College from 2005-12.

"Dr. Filby's signature style of innovation and excellence will engage the educational community of Greenville College," states Presidential Search Committee Chair Craig Tidball. "His international experience, passion for people, and expectant hopes for Christian higher education make him our choice to lead this institution." The eleven-member Presidential Search Committee included representatives from the board of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and community. Price Harding of CarterBaldwin Executive Search assisted the Committee throughout the search process, identifying and researching qualified candidates.

Filby succeeds Dr. Larry Linamen, who resigned after a three-year tenure at the end of the 2011-12 academic year, and former Greenville College provost, Dr. Randall Bergen, who has served as acting president during the 2012-13 academic year.

Rebecca Smith, chair of the Greenville College Board of Trustees, notes Filby's expertise in international relations, management and faith integration, combined with his ability to lead and engage those around him, as ideal qualifications for the next president of Greenville College. "I value Dr. Filby's global sense, as well as his belief in the liberal arts, as we prepare our students to be salt and light in their careers, families and communities around the world," states Smith.

Filby admitted that he was very humbled by the search committee's decision to recommend him as the next president of Greenville College. "It is an amazing place," he said, "and I believe we have a very exciting future indeed. We have outstanding faculty, very bright students, skilled staff and administrators and extremely loyal alumni."

"While other colleges make similar boasts, Greenville College is unique in its ability to develop critical thinkers, clear communicators and creative problem solvers in a Christ-centered educational environment. We help students understand not only the 'how to's' that advance their careers, but also the 'whys' that give their lives meaning and direction."

Filby began his teaching career as a lecturer in Business Studies at the University of Dublin: Trinity College (1989-1996), during which time he created and oversaw 30 international partnerships. Promoted to director of International Student Affairs (1996-2004), he managed the university's 150 exchange partnerships, as well as the recruitment of students from outside of the European Union.

Filby has traveled extensively, representing the University and the Republic of Ireland in numerous countries, including China, Italy, Belgium, Mexico, France, Germany and Spain. As part of his protocol function at the university, he met frequently with ambassadors, government ministers, and occasionally with country presidents and vice presidents.

Led by God's call to shape the lives of Christian college students and equipped with extensive international business experience, Filby left behind a highly-esteemed position in Dublin, Ireland and moved his family to Greenville in January of 2005.

During his tenure at Greenville College, Filby developed the Master of Science in Management program, the Music Business undergraduate major, inverse bachelor's degree programs in Management, Marketing and Liberal Studies, the Master of Science in Organizational Behavior and an MBA and postgraduate certificate in Management. He also directed AgapeFest, a student-run Christian music festival, transforming it into a profitable enterprise.

Filby earned the respect and admiration of Greenville College administration, faculty, staff and students, investing his mind, heart and experiences in the lives and activities of the college. Greenville College faculty voted him as the faculty assembly moderator (2008-12), where he represented his colleagues to the board of trustees. "Dr. Filby's affirming and gregarious personality quickly endeared him to his faculty colleagues," states Dr. Richard Huston, 2012-13 Greenville College Faculty Assembly moderator. "But it was his heart for service, his deep love for the Lord and his expansive vision for what Greenville could become that most endeared Dr. Filby to his peers."

Filby was also honored with the 2010 W. Richard Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award. Nominated by student essays and selected by a vote of the Greenville College Board of Trustees, this award recognized Filby's excellence and influence in his roles of professor and mentor. "He devotes himself to making sure that all of the students achieve their highest," stated one student. "You will note that in recent years, several of our students have won national awards. I believe it is due to Dr. Filby instilling his personal work ethic and attitude in his students."

In one year at Point Loma Nazarene University, Filby managed the development of new majors and minors in Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. He also expanded the Fermanian School of Business, established executive education programs and a 5th Year MBA, and strengthened relationships with PLNU Business alumni.

Filby completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Management and his Bachelor of Science in Managerial and Administrative Studies degrees at the prestigious Aston University in the United Kingdom. He also completed a Master of Arts at the University of Dublin in Ireland and a Master of Arts in Evangelism Studies at the University of Sheffield (Cliff College), also located in the United Kingdom.

Filby moved to San Diego in August 2012. His wife, Kathie, serves as an instructor in the Spanish Department at Greenville College (2006-present). She remained in Greenville for the 2012-13 school year to allow their daughter, Katie, 17, to graduate this May from Greenville High School. Katie hopes to study theatre at Point Loma Nazarene University this fall. Their son, Sam, 19, is a freshman philosophy major at Seattle Pacific University.

"Dr. Filby's ability to tell the story, engage constituencies around a vision, and lead effectively in the swift currents of evolving higher education will infuse our campus with new energy and direction," states Smith. "His leadership will advance our mission to empower students for lives of character and service, while strengthening Greenville College's position in an increasingly challenging Christian higher education marketplace."

Greenville College is a four-year accredited Christian liberal arts school with more than 1500 traditional undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree completion students. Founded in 1892 and affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, the college is located in Greenville, Illinois, 45 miles east of St. Louis.

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