Belton, Texas - In a unanimous decision by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Board of Trustees, Dr. Randy O'Rear was named the 19th President and CEO of the university, effective June 1, 2009. O'Rear will succeed Dr. Jerry G. Bawcom who will step down as president at the end of the academic school year to become Chancellor.
The decision to elect O'Rear president came during a regularly scheduled Trustee meeting on September 19, 2008. Under the leadership of Board Chair Andy Davis, a Presidential Selection Committee was immediately formed upon Bawcom's announcement to step down.
"Our deliberations led us to one clear conclusion; we had the right candidate already here at UMHB, one who has a proven track record in higher education leadership. Dr. O'Rear's successful oversight of the daily operations of the campus for the past three and a half years has been evident to the Board. We are very grateful for his outstanding leadership," said Davis.
"We are extremely confident that as president, Dr. O'Rear will assure the continuity of our mission, our Christian principles and our proficiency in higher education. Because of his long service and intricate knowledge of UMHB, he will hold constant those things we value while assuring the university remains responsive to each new generation and continues to evolve in our ongoing quest for higher excellence," said Davis.
O'Rear, 43, will be the first president of UMHB who is also an alumnus of the university. He graduated from UMHB with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1988 and an MBA in 1997. O'Rear earned a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from Baylor University in 2004
"I am humbled by the confidence the Board of Trustees has placed in me, and I am grateful to be succeeding Dr. Bawcom, a fine leader who has guided UMHB to such a high degree of excellence," said O'Rear.
O'Rear has served at UMHB for 20 years, with the past three and one half years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Other positions he has held include assistant baseball coach, associate director of advancement, director of development, associate vice president for enrollment management and vice president for external relations.
For more than 18 years, O'Rear has been actively involved in fundraising for the university. Under his leadership, gifts and grants dramatically increased, numerous endowed scholarships were established and major capital projects were completed, including the construction of the Parker Academic Center, the Mayborn Campus Center and the new Meyer Christian Studies Center.
"UMHB's greatest strength is its people," said O'Rear. "Our faculty and staff have a deep commitment to our mission, and I will be honored to serve them in the role of president. I will draw on their intelligence and wisdom as we move forward. Providing students with exceptional academic programs will always be our primary focus."
President Bawcom had high praise for the Board's decision on the presidential selection.
"Dr. Randy O'Rear is an excellent choice by the Board of Trustees to become the next president of UMHB," said Bawcom. "He is a man of integrity with tremendous experience; he is energetic and will lead with a team-centered, inclusive approach."
Originally from Waco, O'Rear is a graduate of Robinson High School. He and his wife, Julie, have three children, Ryan, Taylor and Reed. They currently live in Salado and are members of First Baptist Church, Belton, where O'Rear serves as deacon.