JACKSON, Tenn. – Jan. 15, 2013 – Dear Union University Friends:
When President Dockery first mentioned his intention to transition to a new role at Union, I asked if he would reconsider and continue to serve just a little longer. He essentially responded that he and Lanese had carefully thought about this decision and that he sensed the Lord's leading in this matter, believing it to be the right time to formally start the process of stepping into a new role.
For those of us privileged to serve in leadership roles on the Board of Trustees, this announcement is neither a surprise, nor has it been a hasty process. As early as 2009, the Board of Trustees approved the "Union 2012 Plan," which included the proposal to initiate plans for succession planning for key senior leadership positions. In the fall of 2011, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees appointed a five-member Succession Planning Committee that was authorized to guide such a succession planning process. President Dockery and the members of this committee have met many times over the past months to discuss issues necessary to ensure a smooth and proper transition for the future of Union University.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Dockery is not leaving Union University, rather he will be assuming the title of Chancellor in 2014 following the election of Union's next president. The Office of Chancellor will have active and supportive responsibilities for the benefit of the new president and the broader Union community. We are deeply grateful to David Dockery for his ongoing investment in the life of this vibrant institution.
In the near future we will announce the creation of a presidential search committee. We, also, will likely announce the engagement of an executive search firm to serve as a consultant for this important mission. We ask that you join us in praying for God's wisdom for the committee and for God's provision for this important role in the life of Union University.
President Dockery's accomplishments at Union University are unsurpassed. Although much of his work is visible in the form of buildings and numbers, his greatest work is in the hearts and minds of the thousands of students and myriads of others that he and his administration have influenced through the years. David Dockery has had the best interest of Union University at heart in everything he has done as president for the past 17 years. With this decision he is once again taking care of the institution by initiating this transition at a time that he has deemed appropriate for the institution and his family.
We praise God for David and Lanese Dockery and believe the Lord still has much to accomplish through this beloved couple at Union University.
Chairman, Board of Trustees