"The Board of Trustees is pleased to appoint Dr. Pete Menjares as president of Fresno Pacific University. Pete has exhibited strength of character, grace, dignity and humility throughout the search process. His leadership abilities and experience and his deep spiritual commitments will serve him well as he leads this Christian university," said John Thiesen, board chair and co-chair of the presidential search committee.
"It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the 11th president of Fresno Pacific University and I am looking forward with great anticipation to serving this vibrant and dedicated academic community," said Menjares, who received his Ph. D. in education: language, literacy and learning, from the University of Southern California in 1998. His master of arts in education: teaching and curriculum, is from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and his bachelor of arts in religion in pastoral ministries is from Vanguard University. For the last 16 years, Menjares has been a teacher and administrator at Biola University, mostly recently serving as Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Academic Effectiveness.
Menjares has also served with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities as a conference presenter and consultant on intercultural competencies. Currently he is a senior fellow in the Leadership Development Institute, a program dedicated to helping emerging leaders explore their vocational call in CCCU institutions. Menjares has also been a public school teacher, a licensed minister and a senior pastor. He and his wife, Virginia, are natives and lifelong residents of the Los Angeles area.
The presidential search committee included faculty, staff, students, board members and community representatives. Executive search firm the Dingman Company facilitated the search process for the university. Four final candidates were presented to the search committee for interviews. The committee then recommended Menjares to the board as a finalist, and the board invited Pete and Virginia to the university in February for three days of meetings with members of the FPU community, who provided feedback to the board.
The selection process was rigorous and inclusive. "This is a wonderful end to a thorough, wide-ranging and prayerful search for FPU's next president. We are thankful for all who participated and for all who have prayed for the university this past nine months as we engaged in the search," said Larry Martens, presidential search co-chair and university trustee.
Menjares takes over from D. Merrill Ewert, who will retire effective July 31, 2012, after 10 years as president. "I have come to know and deeply appreciate Pete through our shared participation in CCCU. He has the respect of leaders throughout Christian higher education and I am confident he is the one to lead Fresno Pacific to a whole new level of success," Ewert said.
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