Affirming the recommendation of the presidential search committee, Palm Beach Atlantic University trustees today elected William M. B. Fleming, Jr. as the University’s eighth president. Fleming, who had served as interim president for more than a year, officially begins his presidency on May 8, 2012.
President William M.B. Fleming Jr.
Fleming, who joined Palm Beach Atlantic in 1992 as vice president of development, was appointed on March 4, 2011 to steward the University as interim president. Well known in higher education nationally, Fleming, 60, previously served in senior administrative posts at Wingate University and Guilford College, both in North Carolina.
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“Palm Beach Atlantic’s search committee received more than 80 applications and nominations for the presidency. Within a nationally robust pool, Bill Fleming was the candidate of choice by the committee, the board of trustees and the campus and local communities,” said Gary Schroeder, chair of the Presidential Search Committee.
“Bill embodies all of the traits that the search committee was charged with finding −a servant leader with a proven track record of management successes, who can lead a university into its next chapter of excellence. I am pleased to have chaired an effort that produced such an excellent candidate and delivered its recommendation ahead of schedule,” Schroeder said.
The nine-member Presidential Search Committee included alumni, community members and faculty. CarterBaldwin Executive Search assisted the committee and provided comprehensive due diligence support.
“Bill has proven his effectiveness and leadership time and time again during his tenure at Palm Beach Atlantic University,” commented Robert Simpson, chair of the Board of Trustees. “His accomplishments as interim president solidified his qualifications for the committee and illustrated, for me, the positive direction in which he will guide the institution and strengthen our Christ-centered community.”
“Bill has demonstrated a deep commitment over a long period of time to Palm Beach Atlantic, its principles and the community,” said Dr. Tom St. Antoine ’93, associate professor of communication and search committee member. “Surpassing his institutional commitment, however, is his commitment to the people − students, faculty and staff, alumni and friends of the university – whose lives and work have intersected with his. President Fleming appreciates university life, and, under his leadership in the past year, Palm Beach Atlantic has continued to mature as a first-rate private liberal arts university.”
“It is a genuine honor to be selected for the presidency of Palm Beach Atlantic University. It has been my pleasure to work on a campus in which all collaborate to offer a Christian education and experience to our students to prepare them, in turn, to become leaders in their personal and professional communities,” President Fleming said.
“My wife, Pam, and I have grown to love the university over the past 20 years. What I cherish most about my collaborations with our faculty, staff and administrators is that we place the needs of our students, the University and each other first,” he said.
In the past year, the University has gained significant momentum under Fleming’s leadership as illustrated by an increase in undergraduate and graduate enrollment; an eight percent increase in the number of freshman continuing to their sophomore year; a reduced faculty to student ratio of 1:12; increases in faculty numbers and faculty compensation, listings as a “best” choice in U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, and inclusion in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Further, the University was selected to host the World Leaders Conference; established the Parker Avenue Consortium; was chosen as a model for community engagement by the NCAA Division II; and increased its economic impact to $309.7 million, up nearly eight percent. In addition, construction of the Rinker Athletic campus has been renewed. President Fleming has been instrumental in raising more than $118 million for Palm Beach Atlantic during his tenure.
Palm Beach Atlantic University is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, with campuses in West Palm Beach, Orlando and Wellington. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for lifelong learning, leadership and service.