When Dr. Paul H. Alexander assumes the presidency of Hope International University in August, he will become the first alumnus of the institution to serve in that role.
Alexander has been selected to succeed Dr. John L. Derry as president by HIU’s board of trustees. Alexander will begin serving as the institution’s seventh president on Aug. 16, upon Derry’s retirement. A presidential inauguration at the school in Fullerton, CA, is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 17.
“I consider Paul one of my best friends and have had the privilege of working closely with him for nine years in his role as vice president for academic affairs,” said Derry, who has served as HIU’s president since 2003. “I know firsthand of [Alexander’s] commitment to his alma mater and how much he cares about HIU students. We are very fortunate to have someone of his leadership ability, Christian character, and experience in higher education to assume the presidency.”
President-elect Alexander earned a BA in church growth (preaching emphasis) and an MA in marriage & family therapy in 1984 and 1988, respectively, from Pacific Christian College before the name was changed to Hope International University. Alexander earned his PhD in organizational leadership at Regent University.
Between 1995 and 2010, Alexander held a variety of leadership roles. He served as chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Science for Pacific Christian College of HIU, professor of psychology and leadership, director of distance learning, and director of the Center for Leadership Learning. In 2010, he became HIU’s vice president for academic affairs.
The board of trustees noted that Alexander was selected from a national field of highly qualified candidates.
A statement by the HIU Presidential Search Committee noted, “Dr. Alexander has a deep passion for HIU and wholeheartedly embraces the university’s mission to empower students through Christian higher education to serve the church and impact the world for Christ. . . . Students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni deeply respect Dr. Alexander, which will serve him—and the university—well during this transition and throughout his tenure.”
An HIU press release noted that Alexander has great appreciation for the positive and eternal impact of a Christian liberal arts education, and that he firmly believes in HIU’s mission to equip exceptional servant leaders who will, in turn, “bring hope” wherever God leads them.
Alexander enjoys fly-fishing, golf, photography, and hiking in the Sierras with family and friends. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children: Kelsey, a doctoral student in Chemistry at University of California at San Diego, and Cole, a graduate of Hope International University. Paul and Leslie are active members of Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, CA.