Lipscomb board chooses Lowry for presidency
Lowry, 53, will take office Nov. 1.
Lowry is an elder at the Conejo Valley Church of Christ in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and has been a regular public speaker. He has given keynote presentations at Bible lectureships and conferences including those at Faulkner University, Abilene Christian University, Harding University, Pepperdine University, Oklahoma Christian University and Rochester College. Through his work at the Straus Institute, Lowry has served churches and individuals in resolving church-related disputes. Lowry is a member of the board of trustees of Abilene Christian University, is on the advisory board for Jones Law School at Faulkner University and is chairman of the board of Sunset Haven Christian Care Centers. He has also been involved in leadership and conflict management consulting and workshops at individual congregations across the country. Lowry also created several programs at Pepperdine that specifically serve Churches of Christ, including the Annual Church Leaders’ Dialogue, Leading the Church in Difficult Moments workshop and Managing Conflict in the Church workshop.
“One of the key factors in choosing a president for Lipscomb is his ability to fulfill the founders’ vision for the university as interpreted by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Lowry has a demonstrated record of academic excellence, which has characterized Lipscomb since its beginning as Nashville Bible School in 1891. As an elder in the church, he is also committed to personal spiritual growth and to the values our board has articulated in the Statement of Christian Heritage and Commitment,” said Hilton Dean, chairman of Lipscomb University’s board of trustees.
Lowry said he has a deep appreciation for Lipscomb.
“While I have degrees and experiences from other institutions, I feel a special kinship to the 115-year tradition of Lipscomb University. My mentors at the three universities where I have served have been Lipscomb graduates. It is with deep appreciation for the long history of Lipscomb’s university and campus school programs, and great anticipation of the future that lies before us, that I accept this leadership position,” said Lowry.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., and a juris doctor degree from Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minn., Lowry focused his career on higher education. He held a number of administrative positions but spent most of his first decade in the president’s office at two private Christian universities, Hamline University and Willamette University, in Salem, Ore.
In 1986, he joined the law school faculty at Pepperdine and established a new international academic program in the emerging field of dispute resolution.
“While enjoying the administrative side of higher education, I always thought that, to be a college president, one would need the credibility of having served on the full-time faculty. The move to law teaching balanced my administrative experiences and allowed me to fully engage in teaching, research and scholarship for 19 years,” said Lowry.
Under Lowry’s leadership, the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has become the premier program of its kind in the United States. This year the Straus Institute at Pepperdine School of Law was named number one in the country by U.S. News & World Report in its Guide to Graduate Schools. The program has held that distinction for a number of years. The Straus Institute is a comprehensive academic education program that attracts students and professionals from around the world.
“Randy Lowry is a very qualified choice. The excellence of his work with the Straus Center speaks for itself. I am very impressed with his integrity, his love for the church and his interest in spiritual growth, as evidenced by his service as an elder at the Conejo Valley Church of Christ. I believe that he and Rhonda will be a tremendous asset to churches through his work at Lipscomb,” said Carl McKelvey, director of the Lipscomb University Center for Spiritual Renewal.
In addition to teaching at Pepperdine, Lowry has worked, literally, around the world. He is an annual visiting faculty member at Vermont Law School and City University of Hong Kong. He has also taught at Shantou University, in Beijing, China; Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia; and for Hamline University at the University of Modena in Modena, Italy. His consulting and training practice has included work for the legal community in The Netherlands, the introduction of mediation in India through a grant from the Asian Development Bank, training for judges in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as consultation with lawyers for Freshfields, an international law firm in Asia.
Lowry brings to Lipscomb University a substantial history of community and professional involvement. He is the co-founder and first president of the Southern California Mediation Association, co-founder to the Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, served as a gubernatorial appointment to the California Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, a member of the California Judicial Council’s Task Force on the Quality of Justice as well as the California Supreme Court Blue Ribbon Committee on Arbitration Ethics.
Just as faith and learning are brought together at Lipscomb University, Lowry has brought them together throughout his career. He has established programs that have educated thousands of ministers and Christian leaders in reconciliation and conflict management. In addition to his speaking at Bible lectureships, Lowry has also spoken to a variety of organizations such as Laity Lodge, Christian Conciliation Service and the Association of Christian Schools International.
Lowry is a native of Long Beach, Calif. His wife, Rhonda, is also involved in higher education, having directed a graduate school development program. Most recently, she taught at both the graduate and undergraduate college levels. Lowry and his wife have three children: John, a lawyer who is on the ministry staff at Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas; Janet, a Ph.D.candidate at the University of California-Santa Barbara; and, Melinda, a sophomore at Wheaton College in Illinois.
Lowry succeeds Dr. Steve Flatt who stepped down as president June 1 to accept a position with National HealthCare Corporation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Dr. Harold Hazelip, who served as president from 1986-1997, is serving as interim president and will continue to do so until Nov. 1.