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UPIKE names new president

October 30, 2015 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
The University of Pikeville Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., as the institution’s next president. The board’s decision was unanimous, according to Chairman Terry Dotson, who characterized Webb as the “21st president for the 21st Century.”

“Burton has the vision and leadership skills to lead us into the next decade. He understands the role the university will play, not only in the future development of education in our region, but in the future role of economic growth for our community,” Dotson said.

Webb, who currently serves as the vice president for academic affairs at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, will take office on Jan. 1, 2016.

“We are very pleased to have Burton and his lovely wife Kay join the UPIKE family. The presidential search committee did an excellent job in identifying the 70 or so outstanding applicants. The person chosen by the search committee, the executive committee and the entire board of trustees is the best candidate,” said Dotson.

“We are proud of our team at UPIKE. The improvements and growth that has been accomplished by many dedicated people makes this a very desirable university to lead,” added Dotson. “God continues to bless this institution; bringing Dr. Webb and Kay is another blessing.”

President Joel K. Pearsall of Northwest Nazarene University echoed Dotson’s sentiments. “I and the Northwest Nazarene University community extend our heartfelt congratulations to Burton on his appointment as the next president of the University of Pikeville,” said Pearsall.

“This is a bittersweet moment as we bid Burton farewell, for he has served NNU admirably since joining our university in 2010. So, even as we mourn the loss of these trusted and valued colleagues, we wish both Burton and Kay well in this new assignment. UPIKE is fortunate to have Burton and Kay join its team and we wish the Webbs nothing but God’s very best as they move into this new leadership position.”

One of three finalists following a nationwide search, Webb is an experienced administrator, scientist and teacher-scholar. His accomplished career in higher education includes 16 years at Indiana Wesleyan University, where he served as associate dean for the School of Physical and Applied Sciences, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and interim dean for the College of the Arts and Sciences. Along the way, Webb spent 14 years teaching medical immunology to first-year medical students at Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Kay and I are both thrilled and humbled to be joining the UPIKE family. It is our firm belief that we are called to serve the people of Eastern Kentucky at UPIKE.” said Webb. “The university is well positioned to continue to fulfill its mission as the ‘Leading University of Central Appalachia.’ We are passionate about that mission and excited to join the Pikeville community.”

Webb earned a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Indiana University School of Medicine, a master’s degree in biology from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Olivet Nazarene University.

The Webbs share a passion for education. Kay’s educational background includes two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. For the last six years, Kay has been on the graduate faculty of Northwest Nazarene University where her research and teaching have focused on career counseling.

The couple has two grown children, Kelsea (26) and Mason (24) who is married to Lauria (Green). While the Webbs have no grandchildren, they do have two very active Australian Shepherds.

Established in 1889, the University of Pikeville, or UPIKE, is a growing collective of 2,500 students from 42 states and 24 countries and more than 13,000 alumni. The colleges of arts and sciences, business, education, and the school of nursing, along with the college of osteopathic medicine and new college of optometry, provide opportunities for students primarily from Central Appalachia.

Following a press conference Oct. 30, students Fallon Tallman, left, and Collan McCoy, far right, joined the University of Pikeville family in welcoming Burton Webb, Ph.D., who will begin serving as the institution’s 21st president on Jan. 1, 2016.
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