Liberty University has hired an academician with financial expertise as its interim president following the abrupt retirement of founding president A. Pierre Guillermin.

Guillermin, 60, announced his immediate retirement on June 19. He had led the Lynchburg, Virginia, school founded by Jerry Falwell since it opened in 1971.

The Liberty board of trustees named John Borek, 54, as interim president and to the new position of chief executive officer. Falwell, 64, remains chancellor.

Borek has been a business-affairs faculty member at Georgia State University. He also served as chief financial officer at the institution, where he had responsibility for the management of a $200 million annual budget.

In addition, Borek since 1974 has chaired 30 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) committees. The regional accrediting agency placed Liberty on probation for one year in December because of ongoing financial problems (CT, Feb. 3, 1997, p. 74).

Although Guillermin had heart bypass operations in 1988 and 1996, he told CT in October that he had no retirement plans. He will remain as university chaplain and work with Falwell to enlarge Liberty's endowment.

Borek told CT that the board search for a permanent president could take several years and he is open to accepting the post.

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