June 18, 2019 | Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico | Laura Marrero/IAD News Staff
Administrators and boards of directors of Adventist universities across the Inter-American Division (IAD) met recently to better understand their role and responsibilities as they officiate, govern and manage their respective institutions. The more than three dozen board members took part in the Council for University Administrators and Board of Directors, held once during the quinquennium. The meetings took place at Montemorelos Univeristy, in Montemorelos, Mexico, May 29-30, 2019.
“Without a doubt, the future of the church is in our Adventist universities, so it is of vital importance that leaders ensure the future by defining the church that they want to see in 5, 10, 15, or 20 years,” said Dr. Gamaliel Florez, education director for the church in Inter-America, and main organizer of the council meetings. For that to happen, university administrations overseen by union leaders must work together to offer the best possible Adventist education to its students, said Florez.
Dr. Florez explained that besides defining the future development of the institution, the governing boards reviews policies, financial investments, and names the administrators to oversee these through a search. University administrations are responsible for executing the guidelines that their governing board establishes and follow through with internal decisions to manage the institution.
For a university overseen by its union, the governing board is presided over by the president of the union in which the university is located, the union education director, the IAD education director and IAD administrators, conference/mission administrators, university president and certain laypersons, explained Florez.
The church in Inter-America oversees 14 universities and a junior college that together educate more than 20,000 students across its campuses yearly. All 15 educational institutions are accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association, said Florez.
“There is great interest in good education and new opportunities for our students, so it is of utmost importance that our institutions continue improving and have strong leaderships,” said Florez.
IAD presides over division-institutions such as Montemorelos University, the Inter-American Theological Seminary, and Herbert Fletcher University.
In addition to reviewing the obligations of administrators and board members, time was allotted during the two-day council meetings to reflect on the responsibilities as spiritual stewards of Adventist institutions.
Inter-American Division President Pastor Elie Henry, reminded leaders that “God has called them to guide young people to a relationship with God and prepare them to make a difference in the generations to come.”
Pastor Henry also invited leaders to keep in the Word and the mission as elements for the success that should never lack in Adventist universities.
Adventist Education is not only about forming professionals to exercise a function in society, said Florez, “but entails preparing individuals with a mission to help fulfill the purpose of the church which is to preach the gospel.” That entails that every Adventist university must move forward with an excellent development plan.
To learn more about Inter-America’s educational institutions, visit us at interamerica.org