Dr. Bill Ellis has announced his retirement as president of Howard Payne University. The move will become effective on May 31, at which time he will become the institution’s chancellor. The announcement was made the week after the close of HPU’s spring 2018 semester.

“I am honored to have served as president of this treasured institution,” said Dr. Ellis. “I look forward to seeing what great things God has in store for HPU in the years ahead.”

Dr. Ellis, the 19th president in HPU’s 129-year history, joined the university’s administration in 2009. During his years as president, HPU welcomed its largest new-student class in more than three decades, made a variety of facility upgrades including an extensive renovation of the Mabee University Center, and expanded operations to create an extension center in New Braunfels.

“Dr. Bill Ellis is a distinguished proponent of Christian higher education and has a great love for Howard Payne University,” said Rev. Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “I am grateful for his service to HPU as president and I appreciate his continued involvement as chancellor.”

Primary duties for Dr. Ellis as chancellor will be to work with major donors and to develop HPU’s extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels.

“The work our university is doing at all three locations is vital,” said Dr. Ellis. “I am excited to be able to focus all of my attention on growing the financial resources to support these efforts.”

Prior to his role as HPU president, Dr. Ellis served as provost and chief academic officer at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. His experience in higher education also includes administrative and/or faculty positions at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi; Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana; and Clarke College in Newton, Mississippi.

HPU’s Board of Trustees named Dr. Paul W. Armes as interim president. Dr. Armes, who will take office on June 1, has a multifaceted, respected career in education and church life, having served as president of Wayland Baptist University and San Marcos Baptist Academy as well as having held numerous faculty roles, pastorates and leadership positions in denominational service. More information about Dr. Armes and details on the search process for the university’s 20th president will be shared in the weeks ahead.