The Bacon is proud to present the second portion of our interview with Dr. David Clark, the current President of Palm Beach Atlantic University.
The Bacon: Why are you leaving PBA?
Dr. David W. Clark: The comedian George Burns said,”always leave them wanting more.” It is always difficult to know when to leave a situation when things are going pretty well, but completion of the Warren Library, reaccreditation with SACS, reorganization of most areas of the university, completion of several buildings, recruitment of over 100 new outstanding faculty, the completed purchase and plans for the Hillcrest property, and the move into the top tier of MA granting schools in the South in this year’s US News rankings suggest that PBA is entering into a new period of maturation and quality development. Lois and I are in wonderful health. Our two sons are in Texas with our grandchildren. We long to live once more at our home on Eagle Mountain Lake near Fort Worth. I am considering an offer to become a professor in a PhD degree program in higher education at a university in Dallas. But I am keeping my options open until I have a chance to sit on the back porch and watch the sunrise on Sunrise Cove for a few months.
Bacon: What is your opinion of The Bacon?
Dr. Clark: I have read it and gotten some really good laughs. A few times, I wanted to cry as well. Humor is a difficult form of prose to write well, but irony has a very powerful influence. I believe in the free marketplace of ideas. I think that The Bacon serves this purpose at times. It adds color and sometimes steam to the issues in the PBA community. The challenge with blogs is the lack of responsible gatekeepers. Of course, occasionally, I have been offended, but I think you have done a really good job of avoiding ad hominems and gratuitous criticism. Besides I like bacon for breakfast, but only if it is very crisp!
Bacon: What advice do you have for the next President?
Dr. Clark: Listen for 6 months to everyone that you can talk with from faculty to students to staff before setting a course for the university. Spend time with Dr. Warren and Dr. Moody. Spend time with some of our retired trustees. Pray every day for PBA as you drive into work in the morning and as you drive home at night. It is such a challenging responsibility that unless the Lord protects it and blesses it you may fail. Continue to pick up paper on campus and eat frequently in the cafeteria so students can see you and talk to you. Then go home and swim laps in a pool or run around the block a few times and enjoy your family.