Erskine President and Board Chair Leaving

August 31, 2016

Both the president and the Board of Trustees Chairman are turning over at Erskine College, suddenly leaving the Christian institution in South Carolina without top leadership just months after it was roiled by proposals to split off its seminary.

Board Chairman Ron Vigus has resigned from the role effective immediately, a college spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The resignation came as President Paul Kooistra plans to accelerate a retirement that was only recently announced. On Thursday Erskine announced that Kooistra, who started as president in August of 2014, would continue to lead the college as it carried out a six-to-18-month search for a new permanent president. But Kooistra now plans to step down no later than Oct. 31. Kooistra said in a letter he decided on the shorter time frame for personal reasons. No reason was given for the sudden change in board chair.

Erskine, affiliated with the conservative Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, has been home to no shortage of change in recent years. Earlier this year it was pushed to explore splitting from its seminary in what would be a move running counter to a trend of consolidation between seminaries and institutions. In 2014 it struggled to find a president who met religious standards.

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