Newbold College board appoints new principal


Philip R. Brown, a noted Seventh-day Adventist educator from Australia, is the new principal of church-owned Newbold College in Binfield, Bracknell, England. Brown is currently a vice-president at Avondale College in Australia, with responsibilities for learning and teaching. He will become the 31st principal in Newbold’s 110-year history. 

“Dr Philip Brown has made a substantial contribution in the learning and teaching arena at Avondale.  He has been Vice President (Learning and Teaching) for about two years and during that time has worked on various important initiatives,” said president of Avondale College of Higher Education, Dr Ray Roennfeldt. “For instance, he has acted as the facilitator for the restructuring of our faculties, intentionally targeted the upskilling of our academic staff through professional development programs, and coordinated the accreditation of Avondale’s coursework study programs.”

I have a strong commitment to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Dr Brown received his Bachelor of Education from Avondale College in Australia, two Master’s degrees, in commerce and educational administration, from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Tertiary Education Management from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctorate in Education from La Sierra University, Riverside, California.

“Through our research we found that Dr. Brown has an excellent grasp of higher education issues,” said Bertil Wiklander, the college board chair and the President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Trans-European Division, commenting on the appointment. “He also knows how to work hard to make things happen and manage change. We heard very positive comments on his management style, which characterizes integrity, professionalism, and a balance between project-task and people-focus in providing direction and inspiration. We believe that Brown’s spiritual focus, knowledge, skills, and wide-ranging educational experiences will bring growth to the college in numbers and spiritually. We wish him and the Newbold staff God’s blessings as they begin this new and critical phase of the college’s history.”

On his appointment, Brown said: “I have a strong commitment to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, coupled with [a] knowledge of and sensitivity to the unique needs of higher education in Europe. In particular, I have enthusiasm for furthering Newbold’s vision, mission, values and contribution to the Adventist identity in the modern world.”

Dr Philip R. Brown, newly appointed principal at Newbold College.

Brown succeeds Svein Myklebust from Norway who has served as acting principal since December 1, 2010. The Newbold College Board expressed its gratitude and appreciation for his good work during the interim period and recognized that it was a challenging time.

“I am sorry that Phil is leaving Avondale after such a short time, but I also want to wish him the best as he takes on the challenges of leading Newbold College into the future.” said Dr Roennfeldt.

Myklebust followed Jane Sabes, whose resignation as principal was announced November 12, 2010. Sabes, a former professor of political science at Andrews University and a former state of Wyoming health director, became Newbold’s chief executive in August 2008.

In February 2011, 15 members of Newbold’s staff received “notice of possible redundancy” letters. They were invited to apply for the 7.5 new positions the college created in order to redirect its resources. Other economic moves were undertaken, including the dropping of the school’s media studies course.

Newbold College is a Seventh-day Adventist college of higher education accredited by the Open University and the British Council. The school’s campus is situated amongst rolling fields and wooded meadows in Binfield Village—40 miles west of London. The college is a partner institution of the University of Wales Lampeter and affiliated with Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, Maryland.

Newbold started life in 1901 as Duncombe Hall College in Holloway, North London. Its purpose was to educate ministers and church workers for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The name of the college has changed many times since then as it has evolved from a missionary training school into a fully-fledged international college of higher education. Among its former principals was Pastor Jan Paulsen, immediate past president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.