Biola Announces Founding Dean of the School of Science, Technology and Health

Paul W. Ferguson brings diverse experience in higher education to the new role

Jun. 14, 2016 By Brenda Velasco

After an extensive national search and interview process, Biola University has selected Dr. Paul W. Ferguson to serve as the founding dean of the School of Science, Technology and Health effective July 11, 2016.

Ferguson is an accomplished professional with extensive experience serving in key administrative roles at large institutions of higher learning and six years in corporate settings. His experience in academia has afforded him a diverse range of experience as professor and administrator managing undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

“I couldn’t be more delighted that Dr. Ferguson accepted our offer and will bring his vast experience both in leadership and the sciences to Biola University,” said Deborah Taylor, Biola’s provost and senior vice president. “From our very first conversation, I was impressed by his stellar achievements in higher education coupled with a lifelong commitment to servant leadership.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with chemistry and history minors from Whittier College and holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of California, Davis. He is also certified by the American Board of Toxicology.

Ferguson’s 25 years of experience in academic leadership and Christian ministry has opened opportunities for him to serve in cabinet-level roles at the University of Louisiana, Monroe, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), and as president at both the University of Maine, and, most recently, at Ball State University.

Throughout his administrative career, Dr. Ferguson has maintained close involvement in academic development of science and health sciences programming. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of toxicology in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the University of Louisiana Monroe. During his time serving as senior vice provost at UNLV he led initiatives to develop and restructure health sciences programs at the university into a new Division of Health Sciences including development of a new School of Public Health.

Following his time at UNLV, he went to SIUE where he served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs working closely with the deans of pharmacy, dental medicine and nursing to develop new academic programs including a new Doctor of Nursing Practice. During his service at Ball State University, the campus formed a new College of Health commensurate with receipt of state appropriations for a new $62.5 million Health Professions Building.

Ferguson’s entrepreneurial and creative leadership has been consistently modeled throughout his career. He is passionate about leading in the integration of a Christian worldview with science, technology and health sciences education and scholarship.

“With the remarkable development of the new Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health, commensurate with the reorganization of those disciplines into a unified academic structure, Biola has taken a visionary step to enhance its position as a Top Tier National University,” said Ferguson. “As my wife, Grace, and I are led to close the chapter of our lives focused on public higher education, we are looking forward to building an integrated environment of faith and academics to educate young men and women to impact the world for Christ.”

He understands and has consistently demonstrated the importance of collaboration among faculty and administration.

“I have enjoyed working at each institution with the faculty to promote impactful shared governance that translates into effective strategic planning and communication between the campus, system leadership, and governing boards,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson will serve as the founding dean of the school, which will be housed in the new Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health scheduled to open in 2017–18.


  • Leony Tiamzon Jun. 28, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    hurray !!! I am delighted to know that Dr. Paul Personal will be the founding dean of Biola's School of Science, Technology and Health. As I read the article about him, I am full of admiration of all that he had accomplished and for what he is bringing to Biola . in thankful that my son, who is a Biology student, will be able to experience his leadership. God bless. .

  • James Weng Dec. 19, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Great honor to chat with Dr. Ferguson, very humble gentleman with corner stone mind to make SSTH home of Christ, a blessing from God !

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