Metro-East News

Lindenwood University names new president

Nearly four months after firing its president and two weeks after announcing it would downsize its Belleville campus, Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, announced on Wednesday that John R. Porter will be the new university president.

Porter, who has worked for IBM for 33 years, will begin his duties on July 1.

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

Porter, 57, could not be reached for further comment on Wednesday.

Michael Shonrock, the former university president, was fired in February. Also, Brett Barger, the former president of Lindenwood University-Belleville, left the university in January after being placed on administrative leave last fall.

On May 13, the college announced that it would end its daytime, undergraduate classes in Belleville after the 2019-20 school year.

After Shonrock was fired, Art Johnson, who had been the vice chairman of the Lindenwood board of trustees, was named the university system’s interim president over the campuses in St. Charles and Belleville.

The school’s news release on Wednesday did not address the recent leadership changes.

Porter is currently vice president of services for an IBM business partner, Gulf Business Machines in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, according the Lindenwood news release.

Lindenwood released this background information on Porter, who would be the 23rd president of the school founded in 1827:

Has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and is working toward a doctor of education degree from Johns Hopkins University with an anticipated graduation date of May 2020.

Served as a member of the board of trustees at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, from which he holds a bachelor’s degree.

Experience as a university fundraiser.

“We sought input prior to and during to the process from the faculty, staff, students and administration regarding the qualities necessary for the next president of Lindenwood,” Dr. J. Michael Conoyer, chairman of the board of trustees, said in the news release. “It all came down to leadership, and John’s track record as a proven leader. He will serve Lindenwood well.”

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and grew up in St. Louis.