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Lindenwood University names IBM executive as next president

Lindenwood University names IBM executive as next president

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ST. CHARLES — A business executive has been chosen as president of Lindenwood University as the school faces challenges with finances and enrollment.

John R. Porter was named president of Lindenwood University on May 29, 2019. Photo courtesy Lindenwood University.

John R. Porter will become the university’s 23rd president, the school announced Wednesday. Porter has worked in senior management at IBM for the last 15 years, and 33 years overall with the technology company.

His experience in higher education includes serving as a board member for Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., and as a visiting professor. He holds an MBA from Washington University and expects to earn a doctorate degree in education from Johns Hopkins University next year.

“It has long been my goal to be the president of a university,” Porter said in a statement. “I have prepared myself for this throughout my career and look forward to leading this great institution.”

Porter replaces Michael Shonrock, who was terminated as president of Lindenwood in February.

Earlier this month, Lindenwood announced that it would shut down most undergraduate programs on its Belleville campus after the 2019-2020 year. The 1,100 students can transfer to the main St. Charles campus, which hosts about 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The 160 employees on the Belleville campus can apply for open positions at the St. Charles campus, although it is unknown how many will lose their jobs. In 2018, Lindenwood laid off 17 employees or about 1.5 percent of the workforce.

Porter currently works in Dubai as a vice president for an IBM business partner, Gulf Business Machines.

J. Michael Conoyer, chairman of Lindenwood’s board of trustees, said Porter was chosen through an international search because of his leadership skills. Porter and his wife, Beverly, will move into the president’s home on the St. Charles campus. Their three adult children live in the Kansas City area.

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