Provost candidate meets campus leaders
David Nystrom, candidate for Biola’s provost and senior vice president position, met with campus leaders Thursday during his visit of the school. The 16 leaders in attendance included President Barry Corey, AS President Lizzie Neely, and several deans from different departments.
“The process of finding a new provost has truly been ordained,” Corey said at the meeting.
After a year-long search for Biola’s next provost that located about 150 applicants, Corey announced Nystrom’s candidacy last month.
“Nystrom is open, honest, humble, and interesting,” said Bruce Narramore, a psychology professor who co-chaired the search committee with Corey. “Barry and David will be a great complement to each other.”
Nystrom’s vision for Biola
Nystrom said his goals for Biola would revolve around how to practically apply Biola’s mission statement over the next 10 to 15 years.
Nystrom also commented on trends in higher education.
“Technology and what it allows us to do plays a large role in higher education,” Nystrom said at the meeting. “[One trend is] the ability to expand more professional education (i.e. nursing, business, sciences). And the cost of it will rise, which means we need to find more funds to allow for growth.”
Nystrom successfully found such funds in his previous work at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., where he taught as an adjunct and served as the academic dean. During his four years at WJU, the school dropped the price of tuition - one of only two schools in the country to do so.
Nystrom said his main contribution at WJU involved influencing people to give money to the school.
“I gave people a sense of what the future should be, confidence in the future, how to accomplish the future, and the patience to get there,” Nystrom said.
Nystrom brings his experience with diversity and multiculturalism to the position as well. He has lived in Sweden, spent time in Greece and Turkey, and lived in a diverse neighborhood of Chicago with his family. He has also cultivated friendships with people of different nationalities when he lived in San Francisco.
Nystrom’s qualifications and history
Nystrom grew up in Northern California the youngest of three and attended a conservative church. He spent five years as an associate high school pastor before becoming an associate college pastor. Nystrom attended Fuller Seminary and received his B.A. and Ph.D at the University of California Davis. He taught at North Park University and Theological Seminary in Chicago for 12 years as the chair of biblical and theological studies and the director of the Institute for Christian Studies.
Nystrom was one of two candidates interviewed for the provost position. He did not seek out the position originally, but made a strong impression on Corey after meeting with him in December.
The provost search committee contacted several references, all of which confidently supported Nystrom. He has also been endorsed by Talbot deans Dr. Dennis Dirks and Dr. Michael Wilkins.
If Biola offers the provost position to Nystrom and he accepts, he will assume the role later this summer.