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Rex Horne to Leave OBU, Lead Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities

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Rex Horne has announced his resignation as president of Ouachita Baptist University at Arkadelphia to become president of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities, an association of private institutions that includes OBU.

Horne will succeed Rex Nelson as president of AICU. Simmons First National Corp. announced last week that Nelson had been hired as director of corporate communications.

Horne will depart OBU “this summer,” according to announcements from both OBU and AICU. No successor as president of the university has been named.

Horne, who attended OBU and graduated from the AICU member now known as Lyon College at Batesville, has been president OBU since 2006. He was paid a salary of $182,027 plus additional benefits totaling $51,519 in the fiscal year that ended May 31, 2014, according to the Form 990 that OBU filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

His salary as president of AICU was not announced. Nelson’s salary in the year that ended June 30, 2014, was $137,500 plus additional benefits totaling $16,500.

Horne grew up in Camden and earned divinity degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Fort Worth and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Before joining OBU, he was senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock for 16 years. He was president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1995-97.

“I’m honored to have my friends, the presidents of Arkansas’ private colleges and universities, invite me to be the president of AICU,” Horne said. “I hope my experience and relationships will serve these institutions and our state well.”

In addition to OBU and Lyon, members of AICU are Arkansas Baptist College at Little Rock, Central Baptist College at Conway, Crowley’s Ridge College at Paragould, Harding University at Searcy, Hendrix College at Conway, John Brown University at Siloam Springs, Philander Smith College at Little Rock, the University of the Ozarks at Clarksville and Williams Baptist College at Walnut Ridge.

“There couldn’t be a better background for the next president of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities. Dr. Horne is respected throughout the state,” Don Weatherman, chairman of the AICU executive committee and president of Lyon College said in a press release. “I was concerned about the task of replacing Rex Nelson, who served our organization effectively and professionally. I’m delighted we were able to find an educator who is also effective, professional and respected in every region of Arkansas.”

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