Howard Payne University named Dr. Cory Hines as the institution’s next president, the 20th in HPU’s 130-year history.
The announcement was made following a special called meeting of HPU’s Board of Trustees on Monday, at which the board voted unanimously in favor of Hines’ appointment. He will begin work at HPU on April 1.
A 1997 graduate of HPU, Hines has a broad range of experience in higher education administration. Before moving to his current post as vice president of enrollment at Dallas Baptist University, he served that institution in other capacities as vice president in the areas of advancement, graduate affairs, external affairs, and alumni and community relations. He has taught at DBU and provided leadership in the creation of several graduate programs there.
Active in Baptist life, he also has experience in the ministry, having served as executive pastor and student pastor at Ferris Avenue Baptist Church (now The Avenue Church) in Waxahachie.
He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education from HPU, followed by the Master of Arts degree in Christian education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2000 and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in leadership studies – higher education from Dallas Baptist University in 2012.
“Dr. Hines’ combination of education and experience makes him a perfect fit for Howard Payne University,” said Pastor Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “As our institution continues to seek to glorify God and prepare our students to fulfill His calling on their lives, Dr. Hines will provide the kind of leadership needed for the next stage in HPU’s long, distinguished history.”
Hines and his wife, Melinda, have two children, Mackenzie and Caleb. The family currently resides in Waxahachie and will relocate to Brownwood. Hines expressed his eagerness to renew his relationship with HPU and the Brownwood area.
“Howard Payne University had a life-changing impact on me as a student, and I’m honored to have been chosen to lead my alma mater as president,” he said. “My family and I are eager to come back home to Brownwood and plant our lives here.”
Monday’s announcement is the culmination of a process that began in the summer of 2018, following the retirement of Dr. Bill Ellis as president and his transition to the role of chancellor. To assist HPU’s search committee, the university enlisted the executive search firm of CarterBaldwin of Atlanta.
“The search process yielded a wide range of applicants from across the U.S.,” said Dr. David Lowrie, chair of the search committee, member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur. “We are grateful to our associates at CarterBaldwin for their help in securing such an impressive pool of candidates, and we are thankful to God for His leadership through this entire journey. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
In addition to Lowrie, committee members from the Board of Trustees were Ronnie D. Andrews, HPU alumnus and business executive from Houston; Marc Dingler, HPU alumnus and attorney from Midland; Carter M. Sharpe, insurance executive from Brownwood; Jonathan “Jonny” Snow, HPU alumnus and executive recruiter from Waxahachie; and Lesley Collier Wyse, HPU alumna and retired educator from Boerne. Representing HPU employees on the committee were Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education and professor of education; Lynn Humeniuk, director of the criminal justice program and associate professor of criminal justice and sociology; and Hunter Sims, athletic director.
“The members of the search committee devoted many hours and countless prayers to this process,” Still said. “Their diligence is a testament to their commitment to our university and the monumental importance of their task.”
Dr. Paul W. Armes, a longtime educator, administrator and minister, has served as HPU’s interim president since June 1. His service to HPU will end on March 31.
“Howard Payne University has great days ahead,” Armes said. “Dr. Cory Hines is already part of the university family and brings a proven track record of excellence and effectiveness in the field of faith-based higher education. We are at a very exciting moment of HPU’s history. Surely God’s hand of blessing is on this university.”
Pastor Still expressed his thanks to Dr. Armes for his service to HPU.
“On behalf of the entire HPU family, I offer my gratitude to Dr. Armes for his willingness to step into this role and serve our university with characteristic warmth, wisdom and grace,” Still said. “As he returns to retirement, he takes with him our best wishes and lasting appreciation.”
More information about Dr. Hines will follow in the weeks ahead. For more details about HPU, please visit www.hputx.edu.