Dr. Robert B. Sloan is the president of Houston Baptist University and has served in this capacity since September 1, 2006. Under Dr. Sloan’s visionary leadership, the University is experiencing unprecedented growth as he and his administrative team work to implement the goals, or pillars, in HBU’s twelve-year vision, The Ten Pillars: Faith and Reason in a Great City.
HBU has grown during Dr. Sloan’s tenure, including multiple years of record-breaking numbers both in undergraduate and graduate students. As reported by Dr. Sloan, many factors are responsible for this growth, but the most important are the University’s faithfulness to its historic Christian mission and its rigorous pursuit of its Ten Pillars vision.
HBU also continues to experience significant growth in its academic programming. The fall of 2016 marked HBU’s move to a comprehensive university with the first cohort of doctoral students pursuing the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Executive Educational Leadership. The University has also announced plans to expand its online offerings with the HBU Pinky Pampell Online Division.
Other changes to the undergraduate academic program under Dr. Sloan’s leadership include the launching of an Honors College in 2008, the implementation in 2011 of a new interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Core Curriculum designed to engage undergraduates with the greatest thinkers, authors, and artists in Western Civilization, and the launch of the HBU McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.
The University’s emphasis on providing a Christian education of the highest quality has become increasingly visible through numerous recent developments. These include the growth of HBU’s faculty of acclaimed Christian scholars, including Dr. Craig Evans, best-selling author Lee Strobel, Dr. Holly Ordway, Mary Jo Sharp, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, and many others, many of whom are actively involved in promoting the University through external media.
Other factors contributing to the University’s growth and increasing visibility during Dr. Sloan’s tenure include HBU’s return to full membership status in Division I of the NCAA; the decision to join the Southland Conference and play football; the construction of Dunham Field and Husky Stadium; the ongoing implementation of HBU’s master plan through its US Highway 59 and Fondren project with the construction of Belin Drive, Belin Plaza and the new retail development called The Pillars; the acquisition of the Bradshaw Fitness Center and the construction of two new buildings – the Academic Center and the imposing six-story residence facility called the Sadie and Doug Hodo Residence College; the steady growth of HBU’s on-campus residential population; and the recent implementation of various student life initiatives to promote student success, including the creation of an Academic Success Center.
All of these developments – and many still to come, including plans to add more doctoral programs – reflect the work of Dr. Sloan and his administrative team in implementing the goals in HBU’s Ten Pillars vision.
Dr. Sloan serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Symphony and the Greater Houston Partnership, in addition to his leadership roles on the boards of Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems – Community Relations, Houston Christian High School, Market Place Chaplains USA, and Orphan Outreach.
Dr. Sloan has published extensively and has pastored churches throughout Texas and beyond. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has also held membership in a number of professional societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, the Southwest Biblical Seminar, the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.
Dr. Sloan previously served as the president and chancellor of Baylor University, where he was a member of the faculty and the founding dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University in 1970; earned the Master of Divinity degree magna cum laude from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973; conducted post-baccalaureate research at the University of Bristol, England, from 1973 to 1974; and earned the Doktor der Theologie insigni cum laude from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 1978.
Dr. Sloan was born in Coleman, Texas, and grew up in Abilene. He is married to the former Sue Collier of Cisco, Texas. The Sloans have seven children, three daughters-in-law, and four sons-in-law: Charissa and Derrick; Bryan and Amy; Eraina and Bryan; Michael and Allison; Alathea and Justin; Sophie and Mac; and Paul and Meghan. They also have 20 grandchildren and one on the way.