Startup Returning as WBC Academic Dean

Dr. Startup(Walnut Ridge, Ark.) – After an exhaustive, nationwide search, Williams  Baptist College has found its academic dean, and he is the man who has held the  job since 1995. WBC announced Thursday that Dr. Kenneth Startup has agreed to  return as academic dean and vice president for academic affairs.

“This is incredibly good news for Williams Baptist College,” said Williams  President Dr. Tom Jones. “Our search committee did great work in seeking out a  new academic dean, but that process merely reaffirmed that Dr. Startup had left  a high standard to meet. His sense of calling to return to this position is  truly an answered prayer for WBC.”

Startup announced in the fall of 2011 that, after 17 years as academic dean,  he would retire from that role at the end of the 2011-12 school year and return  to the classroom as a history professor. He has served as acting dean since July  while the college searched for his replacement.

Startup said WBC’s recently completed strategic planning effort helped  rekindle his desire to serve as academic dean. “I’ve been increasingly excited  by the prospects and opportunities for the college embodied in the new strategic  Diamond Destiny Plan. I think this planning process really positions the college  for a great future,” he commented.


In particular, Startup said he is excited about academic initiatives that are  in the works at WBC.

“We’ve begun some preliminary discussions of an honors program, and I’m very  eager to see what we may be able to do along those lines,”said the academic  dean. “To be sure, the future of the college is in good hands. We have a superb,  talented, experienced faculty and a veteran, gifted administrative leadership  and staff. I think Dr. Jones’s outstanding leadership is moving the college in a  very positive direction.”

Startup also indicated that he is excited about helping Williams celebrate  its 75th anniversary in 2016.

“Williams has a great history. Our past leadership, most recently Dr. Jerol  Swaim, positioned the college for a very hopeful, very promising future. As we  approach our diamond anniversary, we have en excellent foundation to build a  great future. I’m so pleased to be able to play some role in that very bright  future of the college.”

Startup has served as a history professor at Williams since 1983. An  acknowledged scholar in the field of history, he holds a Ph.D. from Louisiana  State University, a master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s from the  University of West Georgia. He and his wife, Alice, have two grown  daughters.

“Dr. Startup is a valued scholar, intuitive administrator, and trusted friend  of Williams Baptist College,” said Jones. “Although I respected his decision to  step down as academic dean, it has been my strong desire all along that he would  return to this position. I am thankful beyond words that the Lord has led him to  do just that.”

Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge.