Pfeiffer University announces appointment of 11th president

Pfeiffer University | Donald Lee Pardue

MISENHEIMER — After a unanimous vote by the university’s board of trustees, Pfeiffer University announced Dr. Scott Bullard as their 11th president. Pfeiffer has been searching for a new president since February when Dr. Colleen Perry Keith made public her decision to accept a job as president of Goldey-Beacom College, a private school in Wilmington, Delaware.

Bullard, 42, a professor and administrator at Judson College in Marion, Alabama, is seen as a rising star in academia.  

Bob Brietz, chairman of Pfeiffer University’s board of trustees, said in a statement, “Pfeiffer is so fortunate to have found in Dr. Bullard someone who has proven himself to be a dynamic leader in higher education. It’s easy to see how he quickly rose through the ranks at Judson. His intellect, problem-solving skills and understanding of the opportunities and challenges really stand out. He is more than ready to lead our university.” 

Bullard gained a reputation for being an effective professor and administrator while at Judson, serving at the interim president at the college while their long-time president took a leave of absence for health concerns which eventually took his life. He also served as the senior vice president and dean of Judson College and finished his 16-month stint as interim president in March.   

Bullard is a native of North Carolina, born in Lumberton and graduating high school in nearby Laurinburg. With degrees from both Campbell University and Duke University, he also received much of his education in the state.   

“What an exciting place to serve,” Bullard said upon taking the position. “I am excited to begin working alongside such capable and engaged colleagues in service of students and a region that I have loved for a long time.” 

Bullard’s background is in religion and theology, with a Phd in theology from Baylor University and experience in teaching religion courses for Duke University, Judson University and others. He also served as the co-chaplain during his time at Judson. He later chaired their religion department.  

“When I arrived on the campus in Misenheimer, I was immediately drawn to the campus’s beauty, but even more so to the students whom the search committee proudly introduced to me,” Bullard said on his decision to accept the offer. “As we ate together, laughed together, and talked about their backgrounds and hopes and dreams together, it was clear to me that their lives were being transformed by the Pfeiffer experience, the Pfeiffer faculty and staff.”  

Bullard’s wife, Shannon Desmond Bullard, a kindergarten teacher, and their four children, Judson, Desmond, Campbell and Walker, “look forward to exploring and re-discovering life in the outdoors of North Carolina.” The family enjoys spending time outside together doing activities like playing with their dog, Harper, playing sports and hiking.  

During the search for a new president, Pfeiffer had attorney Joy Melton and former editor of Charlotte Observer Rick Thames chair a committee which interviewed many qualified candidates. Dr. Keith will officially step down from her role as president on May 31 and Dr. Bullard will assume duties the following day on June 1.