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Passion Makes University President A Visionary And Thought Leader

Dr. Gene Crume has worked in higher education for over 25 years. He has served as an administrator or a faculty member at eight institutions. His administrative work has been in external relations and includes marketing, fundraising, community relations, admissions, alumni affairs and athletics. Dr. Crume currently serves as President of Judson University.  As the chief executive, his role is to support the senior leadership team and their staff by ensuring they are pursuing the faith mission, strategic vision and financial plan of the institution.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Gene Crume)

Dr. Crume has also served as a consultant throughout his career, and he has worked with non-profit, for-profit, governmental entities, colleges and universities in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, organizational development and leadership development.

Scope and responsibilities of current role?

I spend most of my time working with the Board of Trustees and Leadership Team to ensure we are intentionally living out our missions and successfully executing our strategic plan. This involves many one-on-one meetings with Trustees and vice presidents as well as preparing for board meetings and other campus programs. I'm also very involved in the Elgin community, so community relations is a big part of my work. I travel to meet with alumni, donors and supporters of Judson, and I do quite a bit of speaking at campus and community events. I also teach a class every year, and sometimes two courses a year."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"The people are by far the best part of my day. Judson has a great campus community that is very strong at building and maintaining meaningful relationships. I am blessed to work with great faculty leadership and great staff. Every constituency I work with is wonderful, yet the students are why we do what we do, so I remain energized by spending a great deal of time with them on-campus or in my class."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"I absolutely believe my education prepared me well for what I do, and that includes from my high school experiences in Kentucky to my doctorate.  I have a Bachelor's in public relations and a Master's in communication from Western Kentucky, and my Ph.D. is in education from the University of Virginia."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"Advanced degrees are a requirement if you want to advance your career in higher education, so you need to plan for that as you enter the profession. There are various paths to becoming a university president. Many people still pursue their doctorate, teach for several years and then move up through the academic ranks. My career was through the administrative side, but once I earned my masters and since then I have served as a faculty member in some capacity. That is important, because understanding academic culture and structure helps you build stronger relationships with the faculty."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

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