Arthur Johnson, who was appointed interim president of Lindenwood University last week, doesn’t have a college degree.
In an interview with the student newspaper. Lindenlink, Johnson said that he decided to forgo his college education, choosing instead to work at his father’s advertising agency.
Chris Duggan, the university’s spokesman, told St. Louis Public Radio that because the university is a private institution, “We don’t feel compelled to discuss either (Johnson’s) compensation or his academic history.”
Johnson did not return a call for comment.
Lindenwood has campuses in St. Charles, Missouri, and Belleville.
Johnson went to work for his father’s business, KSJ Advertising in 1973, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. He then went to work for one of KSJ’s clients, AAA Motor Club. He worked there for 28 years, the last seven as the company’s chief executive officer. He retired in 2013.
Johnson, a former Lindenwood University board member and vice chairman, was named to take over after former president Michael Shonrock was fired. David Cosby, another trustee, was named vice chairman. A search committee has been formed to find a permanent replacement.
Shonrock’s departure came soon after Brett Barger, the head of Lindenwood’s Belleville campus, was placed on administrative leave.
The university has failed to give a reason for either Shonrock’s or Barger’s departures, stating “personnel reasons.”
Instructor positions advertised at the university require at least a master’s degree with a preference for a doctoral degree. Shonrock has a PhD; Barger has a doctorate in education.
Johnson, 64, aid he has no interest in serving as the university’s president permanently.
Johnson also is a member of the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners for the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Chapter of the American Red Cross.
This story was originally published by St. Louis Public Radio. It is posted here with STLPR’s permission. Follow Beth Hundsdorfer on Twitter @bhundsdorfer