As the committee working to find the next president of Mars Hill University moves into the next phase of its search, it is seeking public input to help it develop a profile of the ideal candidate. Along with faculty, staff, and students of the university, the committee also wants to hear from members of the broader community with thoughts about the search process and about criteria to seek in the woman or man who will lead the university. The community input session will be Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., in Broyhill Chapel on the university campus.
In January, Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford announced that he would retire in early 2018. Lunsford has led the university since 2002, following several years as a faculty member and administrator in the university education department; and a long career in North Carolina's public schools, including a decade as superintendent of Henderson County Schools.
Under Lunsford, Mars Hill transitioned from a college to a university in 2013; completed its first comprehensive capital campaign (and is in the final stages of its second); saw the largest building boom in campus facilities since the 1970s (with the addition of three new residence halls and three new classroom and laboratory buildings, as well as the building and renovation of several athletic facilities); established the Asheville Center for Adult and Graduate Studies in south Asheville; added a large portion of the campus to the National Register of Historic Places; strengthened and added academic programs (including an Honors Program, master's degrees in elementary education and in management, and a nursing school); and increased funding for scholarships and other financial aid for students.