Facebook pixel Interim Report #3 on Transition Planning | Pepperdine University Skip to main content
Pepperdine University

Interim Report #3 on Transition Planning

TO: Pepperdine Community
FROM: Jim Gash, President-Elect
DATE: July 18, 2019
RE: Interim Report #3 on Transition Planning

As we reach the second half of the summer, we are fast approaching the transition date of August 1. University leadership continues to be actively transitioning important relationships and transmitting institutional knowledge. President Benton is finishing strong and making sure I am ready when he hands me the baton of leadership. The process has been exciting and the progress has been extraordinary. As I indicated in my last update, I am greatly enjoying the opportunity to connect with a broad spectrum of University constituencies. To a person, you have all been kind, helpful, and encouraging.

Board of Regents - New Officers

As you will recall, our Board of Regents elected its new slate of officers in mid-June. After a celebrated and distinguished tenure of 15 years as chair, Ed Biggers handed the reins to the new chair and officer team. What a blessing Ed has been to Pepperdine and will be in the future as he continues his service as a member of the board. I am excited to work with each of these exceptional leaders who love Pepperdine and its mission.

2019-2020 Board of Regents Officers

  • Chair: Dee Anna Smith
  • Vice Chairs: Terry Giles, Fred Ricker
  • Secretary: Tim Phillips
  • Assistant Secretary: Michelle Hiepler

Transition Process Update

Over the past few months, my team and I have met with the Steering Committee, the deans and leadership teams for each of the five schools, all eight divisions at Seaver College, and many of the University operations teams. We are being educated and inspired by the people who live, work, and lead at Pepperdine. Over the remaining two weeks before taking office, we hope to complete our briefings with each of the operational teams and continue to expand our relational reach throughout the University. We are also enjoying the opportunity to meet numerous incoming students and their parents at Seaver send-off parties around the country.

Strategic Plan - Pepperdine 2030

As I mentioned in my last update, when August arrives, the very first project I plan to initiate is a University-wide vision and strategic planning process for 2030. Led by Senior Vice President Tim Perrin in close collaboration with Provost Marrs, Vice Provost Kats, and their teams, this will be a 12– to 18–month, comprehensive process that provides ample opportunity for every stakeholder from our boards, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends to weigh in with their best ideas, dreams, and creative innovations. I mention this again because I sincerely hope that each and every one of you will embrace the opportunity to express your vision and ideas for the future. The results of this process will guide our next 10 years as a university. Everything we do will be tethered to our strategic plan, and we will be constantly measuring our performance against our highest aspirations.


Together is a word that you will come to know as a prominent theme in my communications. But it is so much more than a word. It is reflective of my deepest convictions about leadership. An important aspect of my job is to bring us together to write the next chapter of Pepperdine's history. My dream is for us to co-author that chapter as a community overflowing with hope and excitement. When it is finished, my prayer is that it will be an unforgettable story of excellence in academics, faith in action, and influence through leadership that resonates around the globe.

As our starting line quickly approaches, Joline and I covet your prayers for wisdom, strength, and unity for us and our entire Pepperdine family throughout the world.