By Norm Miller, LCNews
PINEVILLE (LCNews) — The chancellor of Dallas Baptist University Gary Cook addressed Louisiana College trustees at their January 22 meeting as part of the college’s ongoing trustee development.
Cook reflected on the state of DBU when was elected president in 1988, saying the school faced significant debt, had no building projects in 18 years, had difficulty making payroll, and faced more than 30 recommendations from its accrediting body.
“Two faculty members hired a detective to check me out,” he said. And a science professor met with Cook to check out his aura, which was the “acceptable” blue hue.
A survivor of leukemia, Cook said his first five years at DBU were far more difficult than enduring cancer treatments.
“Things were not just perfect, there. And what happened there has happened elsewhere,” he said, alluding to several issues Louisiana College has overcome since Rick Brewer was unanimously elected president in 2015.
“I am so glad it goes well, here,” he added. “I hear nothing but good things about Louisiana College.”
Cook cited the book “The Dying of the Light,” which chronicles the many Christian colleges and universities that abandoned the Christian faith upon which they were founded.
“It is a slippery slope that has affected many institutions,” he said. “These drifting schools have lost their love for the Lord and for his church.”
Cook told trustees, “The most important thing you will ever do is to keep Louisiana College Christ-centered.” Encouraging trustees in this regard, Cook offered several suggestions:
— Keep the name trustee; it’s a word of sacred trust.
— Pray and ask for wisdom.
— Begin a prayer ministry.
— Emphasize servant leadership.
— Recruit senior adult prayer partners.
— Create a campus of Christian symbols, widely displayed.
Some responsibilities of trustees, Cook said, include the following:
— Keep the school Christ-centered.
— Remember fiduciary responsibilities.
— Maintain accreditation.
— Employ a president you respect and admire then give the freedom to lead.
— Do all you can to keep your president as long as possible.
Cook also encouraged trustees to be goodwill ambassadors, to recruit students, and to financially support the college and get others to do the same.
“From near and from far I have observed and appreciated Dr. Cook’s ministry over the years,” Louisiana College President Rick Brewer said. “He has been a mentor to me, and I knew that our trustees would benefit from Gary’s experience and advice.”
“Gary set a great tone for our meeting,” Brewer added, “and we all are deeply grateful for his long tenure of effective leadership and willingness to share insights gained during his career.”