Former College President to Lead Gordon Adult Education Program

Gordon College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ivan L. Filby, an international higher education administrator and professor, as founding executive director of the Gordon adult education program.

“We are thrilled to recruit such a seasoned leader in higher education, with particular expertise and success in the adult education market and business and finance disciplines,” says President D. Michael Lindsay. “This is an important initiative for Gordon and Dr. Filby will play an instrumental role in its success.”

A former college president and business school leader, Filby is an innovative educator with deep experience in successfully launching and growing new programs. As president of Greenville University (IL) for the past seven years, Filby launched three new schools (the Briner School of Business; Bastian School of Theology, Philosophy and Ministry; and the School of Engineering) and increased adult and graduate enrollment. Prior to that, Filby served as dean of the Fermanian School of Business at Point Loma Nazarene University (CA), where he managed its expansion to a third location and added nine new academic programs. Filby begins working in his new role this month.

“The news that Ivan Filby has been named the founding executive director for Gordon’s adult education program only makes the future of the program more exciting,” says Board of Trustees member Dr. William E. Brown, senior fellow for worldview and culture at The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “Dr. Filby brings an amazing array of international experiences in his own education and career. As an award-winning teacher and administrator, he knows the ins and outs of higher education. Kudos to Gordon College for hitting a home run with the selection of Ivan Filby!”

Filby has also held roles as full professor and chair of the Management Department at Greenville University; director of international student affairs and lecturer in business studies at the University of Dublin (Ireland): Trinity College; and graduate teaching assistant at the Management School of Aston University (U.K.). He has lectured around the world—in Hong Kong, Japan, China, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and Denmark—and has published nearly 50 journal articles, book chapters, book reviews and conference papers. Filby holds a BSc (Hons) in Managerial and Administrative Studies and a Ph.D. in Management from Aston University, as well as an M.A. in Evangelism Studies from Cliff College at the University of Sheffield (U.K.).

In 2019, the College began charting its future within Christian higher education to expand beyond its strength and heritage in the traditional undergraduate residential model. With a commitment to become more affordable and more adaptable while still anchored to a distinctly Christian education, Gordon is introducing a new umbrella entity—the School of Graduate, Professional and Extended Studies—to oversee the development of pre-collegiate and graduate programs, as well as new adult learning programs. At the same time, a new delivery model—to be branded as “Gordon Global”—was created to broadly describe a digital or online distribution system ultimately intended to make selected Gordon courses and degrees easily accessible to a new cohort of learners not requiring— or perhaps not even seeking—a campus experience.

Filby’s expertise and experience will be channeled into this adult learner space, as he directs  the launch of four fully online bachelor’s programs in business, finance, accounting and communication arts  for adult learners in January of 2021. As executive director, Filby will oversee faculty in these online adult education programs—including hiring, evaluating and building community among several distance education teaching positions—as well as marketing, recruitment and retention strategies, with the goal of enrolling 100 adult learners in the first year.

“I am delighted to begin my new role at Gordon College,” says Filby. “Throughout my career in the U.K., Ireland, Mexico and the U.S., I have been a champion of adult education. The mix of high-quality teaching coupled with the curiosity and life experience of adult learners is transformational. I have long been impressed by the academic vision of Gordon College, and I am excited to play a small role to help it bring Christ-centered higher education to adult learners.”