Jared Stark named interim president of York University

YORK — Jared Stark, currently vice-president for advancement at York University, will step in as interim president when President Sam Smith concludes his tenure as YU president on June 30, according to Dr. R. Wayne White, chair of the YU board of trustees. Smith has accepted a position with Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home in Florida.

“The trustees are pleased that Mr. Stark has accepted this interim president position effective July 1,” White said. “Jared has proven himself to be a dedicated and talented servant of the Lord and to the university. The board has complete confidence in his abilities to fulfill this role. We ask that we all give him our full support as the board seeks a leader to serve as York’s 22nd president.”

White also announced the launching of a presidential search process. More information and details about the search and those involved will be shared in a future news release.

Stark began his service at York in 2001, working in the admissions office as a student recruiter. He left York in 2003 to pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration from Texas Tech University. During his time at Texas Tech he worked in the student-athlete academic services department. He returned to York in 2005 and has served in several roles including assistant dean of students and interim admissions director. He took on the role of athletic director in 2008 and then accepted an expanded position as vice president for athletics and enrollment in 2014. In 2021, Stark became the vice-president for advancement. In that role, he oversaw the successful completion of the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history.

Reflecting on his appointment as interim, Stark said, “It is an honor to be asked to serve in this role. To step in at this time, for as long as that may be, is a responsibility I accept with deep humility. To lead this institution, that has had my heart for many years, is something I will treat with the utmost respect. I love York University. I love our people, our campus, and our community. I believe more than anything that God has a guiding hand upon us as we seek to fulfill our mission.”

Stark is a 2001 graduate of York University and native of Lincoln. He and his wife, Charla, have two children, Everson and Nico.

Regarding President Smith’s departure, Dr. White said, “The board of trustees of York University expresses its greatest appreciation to Dr. Sam Smith for his work with the university over the last four years. Numerous impressive successes resulted from his leadership. We wish Dr. Smith and his family great success in the endeavors that lie ahead at Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home.”

Dr. White added, “The trustees are already working to find the person God has prepared to be the next president of York University. We are confident that our next president will guide us to another level of excellence as we face the future together. We ask that everyone who loves and respects the university to be in prayer for our trustees as they search for new leadership and to be prayerful as well for the person who will eventually become YU’s president. In all things, God will be our guide.”

On his departure from York, Dr. Smith said, “As my professional journey takes me to serve as president of Mount Dora Christian Academy and Children’s Home, I remain confident that the best days for York University are still to come. Although my family and I are excited for our next chapter, it is tempered by our love for York University, our regard for our colleagues here, and our ongoing commitment to the incredible mission of York University.”

Reacting to the trustee’s decision to name Jared Stark interim president, Dr. Smith added, “Jared is an incredible leader and team builder. He has never aspired out of personal gain or selfish ambition to assume the role of a leader. Yet, he has found God planting him in leadership roles time and time again for the benefit of the institution. I applaud the trustees for seeing Jared’s strengths, love for Christian education, and deep love for York University. He will serve the whole community with unwavering passion.”

York University will honor Dr. Smith for his service during a reception to be held on campus on June 24.



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