Louisiana College Elects 11th President, Dr. Rick Brewer

by Norm Miller

PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews)–Louisiana College trustees unanimously elected Dr Rick Brewer as its 11th president, March 5.

Brewer takes office at LC in Pineville on April 7, leaving his role as vice president of student affairs and athletics at Charleston Southern University, Charleston, S. Car., where he gained extensive senior-level administrative experience during his 28-year tenure there.

“God’s hand and external confirmation have been evident in bringing Cathy and me to Louisiana College,” Brewer said. “I am thankful that this new role found me. It was not even on my radar.”

Chairman of LC’s board of trustees and presidential search committee, Dr Tommy French, said, “When our search committee first read Dr Brewer’s resume, we believed he was God’s man for Louisiana College. Then after we met with him, we were convinced God sent him to us.”

“Louisiana College and Louisiana Baptists are blessed to have one whose multi-faceted credentials reflect stellar administration, studious academics, effective development, and an unswerving commitment to the advancement of God’s kingdom,” French said.

CSU president, Dr Jairy C. Hunter, said: “Dr Rick Brewer is a strong Christian leader with extensive experience in strategic planning and budgeting, enrollment management, student development, revenue development, athletics and Christian ministries.He has provided visionary and exemplary leadership for 28 years as a senior officer at Charleston Southern University.”

Born in New Orleans, where his father attended seminary, Brewer earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policies with cognates in Management and Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina, and an MBA and BS in History from Charleston Southern University.

He also completed post-graduate certifications at Harvard and Duke Universities.

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Administrative experience

While at CSU, Brewer helped envision a comprehensive, liberal arts campus environment, as well as lead initiatives to champion the significance of Christian higher education.

Brewer emphasized shared responsibility for the general administration for strategic planning, academic affairs, enrollment management, institutional advancement, external relations, financial management, legal affairs, student affairs, athletics, and technology.

He helped to double enrollment from 1600 to more that 3400 students, increase unrestricted giving and endowment support, and improve freshman retention from 50 to 78 percent.

Under Brewer’s leadership, the integration of planning, budgeting, and assessment with broad-based campus participation produced additional academic programs and facilities, including a state-of-the-art science building, athletic facility, and expansion of the School of Nursing building.

He served as director for external relations, assistant to the president, interim director of athletics; held vice presidential roles for planning, student affairs, and athletics; and was a member of the president’s cabinet since 1989.

Brewer was a SACS-COC QEP evaluator for a comprehensive, liberal arts university in 2011, and remains an evaluator for SACS-COC and the NCAA, having conducted both on- and off-site accreditation/certification assignments at several colleges and universities.

Academic accomplishments

“I have worked with Dr Rick Brewer for more than 25 years as a faculty member and colleague,” said Dr Linda Karges-Bone, CSU professor of Education. “His leadership style can be described as energetic, empowering, and empathetic. He applies both scholarly and spiritual gifts to moving individuals and organizations forward in a positive way, never losing sight of the value of each individual created in God’s image.”

Committed to the practice of shared governance and academic freedom, Brewer has effectively demonstrated direct involvement in SACS-COC accreditation leadership, curriculum design, development of new programs, implementation of distance education, support for the integration of technology campus wide, faculty search committees, and service with faculty and staff on numerous campus committees.

Brewer helped establish a global service-learning emphasis by providing the requisite funding to support faculty and students through strategic revenue enhancement initiatives. Brewer also established a partnership with the University of South Carolina’s Washington Semester program for CSU Honors students. “I am committed to creating an academic environment that supports intentional learners while providing transformational experiences,” Brewer said.

An adjunct professor in CSU’s School of Business Master of Business Administration program, teaching Management Theory, Organizational Behavior, and Transformational Leadership for the Marketplace, Brewer also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty in the University of South Carolina’s Wardlaw College of Education graduate programs in Higher Education Administration. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty in The Citadel’s Graduate School of Education

“At Louisiana College, my focus will be on leading the college into the future by building on its mission and vision for effectiveness in global Christian leadership,” Brewer said. “We will build upon the college’s excellent academic reputation while preparing graduates to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century marketplace. Collectively, we will promote a comprehensive, liberal arts education, challenging students to think critically, learn continuously, and serve creatively.”

“We will partner with LC’s faculty, staff and coaches to equip students with a holistic educational experience producing cultural thought leaders and thoughtful leaders, who practice servant leadership daily,” he said.

Financial development

Since 2001, Brewer’s leadership with internal and external constituents produced $75 million in strategic budget initiatives addressing faculty/staff salaries, new academic programs, additional faculty/staff positions, facilities improvements, campus enhancement, expansion of technology, and additional facilities.

With a participatory approach to higher education management, Brewer helped garner significant resource development, including $50 million for student scholarships, academic programs, and campus construction.

Brewer is a member of the university’s leadership team tasked with securing $3M in unrestricted financial support annually, as well as raising support for the construction of new academic and athletic facilities while also providing leadership for acquiring external revenue of more than $1.5M annually for the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program.

“Fiscal stability will be the driving force of my daily leadership and service at Louisiana College,” Brewer said. “Responding to changing financial circumstances while protecting the mission and institutional integrity will be my chief fiscal focus and responsibility as president.”

Ministry minded

An ordained Baptist Minister, Brewer has more than 40 years of continued local church ministry as a volunteer, part-time, or full-time worship leader; youth minister; and teaching pastor. He completed the South Carolina Baptist Convention Transitional Pastor training in 2012. Brewer also is an accomplished musician, playing the piano since age 5. “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” is the theme for piano/vocal concerts he offers to churches.

“God has transformed my life under the leadership of Dr Brewer,” said Rev Jonathan David Davis, CSU’s campus minister, adjunct Christian Studies professor, and pastor of Summit Baptist Church on the campus of CSU. “He took an assistant football coach with no direction and no clear future and inspired me to make an impact for Jesus. While under Dr Brewer’s tutelage, I have been in two Master’s programs and now a PhD program. The whole trajectory of my life has changed. I no longer work to live, but I live to work so I can spread the love of Jesus. Dr Brewer inspired me to give everything I have for Jesus and not settle for anything less.”

Civically oriented

Brewer’s extensive community service leadership experience includes: founding board member for the Volunteer Center of the Low Country, Charleston YWCA Study Group on Racism, Charleston United Way Loaned Executive, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Business/Education Partnership Leadership Team, Dorchester County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Summerville YMCA Board of Directors, South Carolina College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and the South Carolina Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board of Directors.

Vision and motivation

“My vision for Louisiana College will be to establish and project a national distinction for excellence as a Christian college devoted to preparing students for lives of learning, leading and serving,” Brewer said.

“It will be my role as president to tell the story of Louisiana College, cast the vision, build the case, and ensure the college remains committed to its Christ-centered mission and service to students by preparing them for lives of significant service for the cause of Jesus Christ in a variety of ministries and careers,” he added.

“I am confident that God will complete the good work he began in me when I embarked on my academic sojourn,” Brewer said. “And I am equally confident that the Lord will complete the good work he planted on this hill in Pineville back in 1906.”

“This promise from Philippians 1:6 is not just for me, but it includes the entire Louisiana College family as well,” Brewer noted. “This powerful institution is here for the glory of God, and God called me to serve him, too. Therefore, I am as humbled as I am elated that our Lord has brought us together to complete his purposes for both Louisiana College and myself

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Dr. Rick Brewer | Biograph

Dr. Rick Brewer is in his 28th year of service to Charleston Southern University (CSU). Currently serving as the Vice-President for Student Affairs and Athletics, Brewer has extensive senior-level administrative experience at Charleston Southern University emphasizing shared responsibility for the general administration for strategic planning, academic affairs, enrollment management, institutional advancement, external relations, financial management, legal affairs, student affairs, athletics, and technology. As a result of CSU’s ongoing planning process, the university has doubled enrollment from 1600 to over 3400 students, increased unrestricted giving and endowment support, and improved freshman-to-sophomore retention from 50% to 78%.  The integration of planning, budgeting, and assessment with broad-based campus participation has produced additional academic programs and facilities, most notably the addition of a state-of-the-art Science building in 2005, Athletic Facility in 2012, and expansion of the School of Nursing building in 2014.

A participatory approach to higher education management has allowed Brewer the opportunity to be involved in significant resource development efforts for the university.  His involvement has included serving as a member of the management team successfully completing the “Achieving Excellence” capital campaign securing $50 million for student scholarships, academic programs, and campus construction. Brewer is currently a member of the team tasked with raising support for the construction of new academic and athletic facilities while also providing leadership for acquiring external revenue of more than $1,500,000 annually for the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program. He is a member of the university’s leadership team tasked with securing $3M Unrestricted financial support annually. Brewer contributes to the goal of enlisting 400 business and community leaders for service on the University’s Board of Visitors, identifying and enlisting prospective donors for this pivotal group of institutional stakeholders.

Since 2001, Brewer’s leadership with internal and external constituents of the university has produced $75 million in strategic budget initiatives addressing faculty/staff salaries, new academic programs, additional faculty/staff positions, facilities improvements, campus enhancement, expansion of technology, and additional facilities. CSU has operated within a balanced budget for 29 of the past 30 years.

Throughout Brewer’s tenure at Charleston Southern University, he has played a vital role in shaping the university’s vision for a comprehensive, liberal arts campus environment, spearheading and executing countless initiatives that underscore what Christian universities are about. He has consistently taken on positions of increasing responsibility, and has brought to each his unique blend of commitment to excellence, administrative skills, and student-centered focus.  Rick has served as the Director for External Relations (1987-1989), Assistant to the President (1989-1995), Dean of Students (1995-2001), Interim Director of Athletics (1999-2001), and Vice President for Planning and Student Affairs (2001-2009) and Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics since 2009.  He has been a member of the President’s Cabinet since 1989 and has worked with the university’s Board of Trustees in a Senior Administrative capacity since that time.

Brewer is committed to the practice of shared governance and academic freedom. He has effectively demonstrated direct involvement with the university’s faculty in SACSCOC accreditation leadership, curriculum design, development of new programs, implementation of distance education, support for the integration of technology campus wide, faculty search committees, and service with faculty and staff on numerous campus committees.

Brewer serves as an evaluator for SACSCOC and the NCAA, having served in leadership capacities for both conducting on-site and off-site accreditation/certification assignments. Rick served as the QEP Evaluator for Campbell University in 2011. He has served as a Certifier for the NCAA including on-site visits to Lafayette College, Longwood University, University of Richmond, and Southern University.

Rick was intricately involved in establishing the university’s global service-learning emphasis by providing the requisite funding to support faculty and students through strategic revenue enhancement initiatives. Brewer also established the university’s partnership with the University of South Carolina’s Washington Semester program for CSU Honors students.  He is committed to creating an academic environment that supports intentional learners while providing transformational experiences.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Brewer serves as an adjunct professor in CSU’s School of Business Master of Business Administration program teaching Management Theory, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, and Transformational Leadership for the Marketplace. He also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty in the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business and Wardlaw College of Education Master and Doctoral programs in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Brewer is also a member of the adjunct faculty in The Citadel’s Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Brewer is an ordained Baptist Minister with over 40 years of continued service to the local church as a volunteer, part-time, or full-time Worship Leader, Youth Minister, and Teaching Pastor serving churches in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He also completed the South Carolina Baptist Convention Transitional Pastor training in 2012. Rick is also an accomplished musician playing the piano since the age of five.  “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” is the theme for piano/vocal concerts he provides for churches region wide.

Dr. Brewer’s extensive community service leadership experience includes: founding board member for the Volunteer Center of the Low Country, Charleston YWCA Study Group on Racism, Charleston United Way Loaned Executive, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Business/Education Partnership Leadership Team, Dorchester County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors,  Summerville YMCA Board of Directors,  South Carolina College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and the South Carolina Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board of Directors.

Rick has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policies from the University of South Carolina with cognates in Management and Higher Education Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration and Bachelors of Science in History from Charleston Southern University. Brewer also attended the Snowmass Institute for Strategic Planning and completed the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Institute for Educational Management Executive Certificate program in 2008. Dr Brewer completed Duke University’s Non-Profit Leadership Executive Certificate program in 2012.

Rick’s wife, Cathy, shares his passion for servant-leadership in higher education. She plays a vital role in assisting the university’s Women’s Council—a select group of women who assist the university in resource development for academic scholarships and campus beautification projects. Rick and Cathy are members of Summerville Baptist Church where they have served on various committees and Rick has served as a deacon.

Rick and Cathy have two sons, Jason, a professional musician in Nashville, Tn. where he resides with his wife Krista and daughter Adalyn Kay; and Jonathan, a banker with Bank South in Lake Oconee, Ga. where he resides with his wife Catherine and son Knox Jameson.

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