Williams Baptist University has announced the hiring of Dr. Marvin Schoenecke as Provost and Executive Vice President for Campus Life. Schoenecke, who comes to Williams from College of the Ozarks in Missouri, will begin his duties at WBU in April.
“Dr. Schoenecke has extensive training and expertise in Christian higher education, experiences that have uniquely prepared him to serve at Williams ‘for such a time as this,’” said Dr. Stan Norman, president of WBU.
“I am particularly excited about the extensive work-college experience that Dr. Schoenecke brings to WBU. As we move forward in the implementation our Williams Works initiative, I am delighted to know that God has sent someone to WBU in executive leadership whose background and experiences can guide us in this process.”
Schoenecke has an extensive background in Christian higher education, including the past 14 years at College of the Ozarks, where he has served as Dean of Work Education and Administration. College of the Ozarks is an officially designated work-college, where all students hold jobs to offset the cost of their education.
WBU recently announced a similar initiative known as Williams Works. Students selected for the Williams Works initiative will likewise hold jobs assigned by the university to cover their educational expenses. The goal of this initiative is to provide a way for students to work their way through school and potentially graduate debt-free. WBU plans to launch the program this fall with 40 incoming freshmen, and it will expand the number of participating students considerably in coming years.
“Williams is a Christ-centered institution with a dedicated faculty that impacts students in and out of the classroom,” Schoenecke said. “I am excited about helping them be successful in the classroom and helping develop new opportunities outside of the classroom that will improve the lives of students. I truly believe this is where God is leading us and I am looking forward to His plan for this great university.”
In his new role at WBU, Schoenecke will oversee the areas of academics, operations and campus life. He will also help the university implement and expand the Williams Works initiative in coming years.
“Personally, I worked my way through college and have benefitted from the lessons I learned the hard way. My employment at a work-college has solidified my beliefs as to the impact Williams Works will provide students. Developing a work ethic can only be accomplished by action. Williams Works will provide this opportunity to make students more marketable and successful,” he commented.
Norman noted that Schoenecke’s experience at a work-college is just one of many facets of valuable experience that he will bring to WBU.
“I cannot imagine God leading someone better suited to WBU to help us move forward in our Williams Works initiative than Marvin. In addition, Marvin has extensive leadership experience in almost every area of administration in a Christian university, including administration, financial management, accreditation, athletics, student affairs, recruitment/retention, and student work education, just to name a few,” the WBU president said. “Dr. Schoenecke’s expertise in Christian higher education will benefit every area under his supervision.”
Schoenecke, an Oklahoma native, is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University. He holds a Master of Arts in Education from Western Kentucky University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He has 30 years of experience in higher education, having worked at Oklahoma Baptist, Belmont University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Dallas Baptist University and College of the Ozarks.
Norman said it quickly became evident in the interview process that Schoenecke and his family would be a great fit for Williams.
“One of the blessings of the interview process was getting to know Marvin’s heart for the Lord and his passion for Christian higher education. Not only do we share similar life experiences (both of us grew up in small Oklahoma towns), but we quickly learned that we share common convictions about our faith and our calling into the vocation of Christian higher education,” Norman noted.
“We are blessed and grateful to God that He led the Schoenecke family to join us. I believe both Marvin and Elisabeth will be embraced and quickly become valued members of the WBU family.”
Marvin and his wife, Elisabeth, have been married for 28 years, and they have three grown children. Their son Daniel and his wife, Mariah, live in Springfield, Mo. Andrew lives in Tulsa, Okla., and Jessica is a sophomore at Oklahoma Baptist in Shawnee, Okla.
Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.