Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver to begin as Union University’s 16th President

JobfitMatters, the SIMA® executive search practice of Tommy Thomas and Laura Coverstone, is pleased to announce that Dr. Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver begins his tenure as Union University’s 16th President on June 1, 2014. Dr. Oliver was selected unanimously by the university trustees on February 10.

“Dr. Oliver is a man of strong Christian conviction who is theologically informed, passionate about students and highly respectful of the work of faculty members,” said Norman Hill, chairman of Union’s Board of Trustees and chairman of the search committee that selected Oliver. “His skills as an administrator and educator build on Union’s already established reputation for academic excellence, and we are honored and thrilled by this appointment.”

“We are deeply humbled by this call to serve at Union University,” Oliver said. “I am hopeful and enthusiastic about working with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the university to extend, enhance, and enlarge all that Union is — for the glory of God and for the good of humankind.”

A native of San Antonio, Oliver has been the ETBU president since 2009. The university in Marshall, Texas, enrolls about 1,250 students and employs about 300 faculty and staff. Prior to the ETBU presidency, Oliver served his alma mater, Baylor University, in several roles, including director of student activities (1992-99), associate dean for campus life (1999-2001), dean for student development (2001-05) and vice president for student life (2005-09). Oliver completed a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Baylor and a Master of Science degree in educational psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational administration from Texas A&M.

Oliver and his wife Susie Combs Oliver will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary later this year. Susie is a native of Hazard, Ky., and a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. They have a daughter Callie who is a senior at Baylor.

Oliver, 48, succeeds David S. Dockery, who has served as Union’s president for the past 18 years. “I have had the privilege of knowing Dub Oliver for several years, both in his role at Baylor and at East Texas Baptist University,” Dockery said. “During this time I have come to recognize Dr. Oliver’s genuine commitment to students and his approachable, kind and caring manner as a leader.

Tommy Thomas, Laura Coverstone, and Ed Poff of JobfitMatters assisted the Union Search Committee in this process. Search Chairman Norman Hill said. “We are confident that the Union community quickly will see the consistent patterns of service and commitment that led us to Dr. Oliver.”

Oliver has spent some time at Union throughout the spring semester and will begin full-time on June 1, 2014.