Press Releases

Posted: April 29, 2019

FULLERTON, CA – Following an extensive search process, the Board of Trustees of Hope International University, a nationally-recognized private Christian university based in Fullerton, California, has appointed Dr. Paul H. Alexander (’84, ’88) as the seventh president in HIU’s 91-year history. He will assume his new leadership role and responsibilities on August 16, 2019, following the retirement of Dr. John L. Derry, who has served as HIU’s President since 2003.

Dr. Alexander was selected from a national field of highly-qualified candidates. He brings extensive professional and academic experience to his new position, with a distinguished career in Christian Higher Education. Dr. Alexander, who is currently the Vice President for Academic Affairs, has served HIU since 1995 and is the first alumnus to become President of Hope International University. 

An official message from the HIU Presidential Search Committee states, “Dr. Alexander has a deep passion for HIU and wholeheartedly embraces the University’s mission to empower students through Christian higher education to serve the Church and impact the world for Christ. To support this mission, he has a clear vision for fundraising, academic programs, church partnerships, student enrollment, and University leadership that will make that vision a reality. Students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni deeply respect Dr. Alexander, which will serve him – and the University – well during this transition and throughout his tenure.”

The positive and eternal impact of a Christian liberal arts education is a deep conviction for Dr. Alexander. He firmly believes in HIU’s mission to equip exceptional servant leaders who will in turn ‘bring hope’ wherever God leads them. His personal mission is to glorify God through championing teaching and learning excellence in Christian higher education.

“I consider Paul one of my best friends and have had the privilege of working closely with him for nine years in his role as Vice President for Academic Affairs,” remarked President Derry. “I know firsthand of his commitment to his alma mater and how much he cares about HIU students. We are very fortunate to have someone of his leadership ability, Christian character, and experience in higher education to assume the presidency.”

Between 1995 and 2010, Dr. Alexander held a variety of leadership roles and left an indelible mark on the advancement of the University. He served as Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Science for Pacific Christian College of HIU, Professor of Psychology and Leadership, Director of Distance Learning, and Director of the Center for Leadership Learning. In February of 2010, he became HIU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position he has held with distinction.

President-elect Alexander earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership at Regent University. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Marriage & Family Therapy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Growth (Preaching Emphasis), both from Pacific Christian College before the name was changed to Hope International University.

Dr. Alexander enjoys fly-fishing, golf, photography, and hiking in the Sierras with family and friends. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children: Kelsey, a doctoral student in Chemistry at UCSD, and Cole, a graduate of Hope International University. Paul and Leslie are active members of Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, CA.

The HIU Presidential Inauguration for Dr. Alexander is tentatively scheduled for October 17, 2019.