PHILIPPI, W.Va. — After three years as interim president, Dr. James “Tim” Barry has been named as the official 10th president of Alderson Broaddus University.
Barry was first named to the position December 2015, following Dr. Richard A. Creehan’s resignation after serving the institution for over four years.
“It’s been a wonderful three years here at AB, and I’m looking forward to many more,” Barry said.
The Board of Trustees unamiously voted to extend Barry’s contract for interim president until 2020 during Fall 2017, making this decision somewhat of a suprise.
“I belong to a group called the Registry of College University Presidents, and after this three year period of time, they came to me and said, ‘Would you like to stay longer?’ And I said, ‘I’d be delighted to do that,'” Barry said. “So between the Board of Trustees and the Registry, they worked that out and here I am and looking forward to the opportunities that are ahead of us.”
Looking to what lies ahead, Barry is focusing on the challenges as well as the opportunities, many of which he said are similar to those of other West Virginia institutions.
“We’re doing a great job here of forming young men and women — and older men and women — to be the type of people that can go out and make this a better world,” he said.
However, where AB could do better, Barry said, is integrating what its doing with what the community’s doing.
“We have a Town and Gown Task Force that we put together,” he said. “We’re working closely with the city of Philippi with a major Christmas celebration. We’re talking about outreach to the schools and community colleges, expanding our footprint of delivery, but we’ve got to do our share.”
Additionally, Barry said AB has to keep its commitment to West Virginia.
“In our case, 63 percent of our people are from outside of the state, and we’ve got to prepare students from Pennsylvania, Ohio, et cetera,” he said. “The thing we’re finding out is people don’t want to leave West Virginia. They want to stay here and help.”
Barry said he, too, was one of those people, making him very grateful to be putting down permanent roots.
“I frankly fell in love with West Virginia,” he said. “I fell in love with the people, and I thought to myself, you know the scripture says, ‘I decided to pitch my tent with everybody else’s,’ and I’m just delighted to be here.”