June 14, 2022

United Board President Dr. Nancy E. Chapman to retire in early 2023


The United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia announces that Dr. Nancy E. Chapman will retire on February 1, 2023 after 12 years of distinguished service as its President.

Dr. Christian Murck, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “Nancy’s long service to the United Board as a Trustee and as President has been distinguished by effective leadership, notable accomplishments and consistent focus on the United Board’s mission and values.  We will miss all of that but more fundamentally we will miss Nancy’s collegiality and concern for each of us.”

Trained as a historian and proficient in Chinese, Nancy previously served in senior positions at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Yale-China Association, and Morningside College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  Before being appointed as President of the United Board in 2011, she had served as a Trustee of the Board for eight years and was appointed its Vice Chair in 2006.  She has since led the United Board from strength to strength in innovating new programs, extending its network to new regions, and providing timely support for the emerging needs of Asian higher education.

Under Nancy’s leadership, the staff strength of the United Board has expanded from 17 in 2011 to 24 in 2022, and a consulting office in Chennai, India was officially opened in 2018 to join the organization’s New York and Hong Kong offices.  In the same period, the United Board’s total annual support and revenue have increased from US$6.9 m to US$10 m, and its net assets have grown by about 50%.  The number of colleges and universities in the United Board network is now over 80 institutions across 15 countries/regions in Northeast, Southeast and South Asia.

The United Board’s programs continue to flourish and generate impact, and our clear focus on whole person education continues to guide the work of the organization to benefit cohort after cohort of young students and faculty.  Meanwhile, our capacity-building programs in leadership development, faculty development, campus ministry, service-learning, digital content and programming, and resource development have helped raise the profiles and advancement capabilities of participating institutions.

In the last couple of years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to institutions throughout the world, including the United Board.  Throughout this period, Nancy and her talented staff team have been steadfast in steering the work of the United Board, maintaining a consistently high level of service and output quality while exploring new service avenues such as remote learning, disaster preparedness, and mental well-being and resilience.  It is in times of adversity that an organization founded on Christian values and guided by visionary leadership can really make a difference.

Nancy is known not only as a leader but also as a warm and trustworthy person and colleague.  She has cultivated deep and collegial relationships within and beyond our organization, including with our trustees, staff, alumni, donors, and supporters, as well as program partners and key figures in higher education throughout Asia.

As a fitting crescendo to her presidency, Nancy is leading the United Board in celebrating its Centennial Year in 2022.  A range of special programs, centennial initiatives, grant programs and celebratory events will mark the United Board’s entry into its eleventh decade.  The occasion is also an applaudable conclusion to her exemplary stewardship for over a decade.

Nancy remarked, “I am thankful for having been given the trust and opportunity to work with our Board of Trustees, staff, supporters and partner institutions—sharing ideas, travelling together, and building programs and projects collaboratively.  The United Board is a wonderful organization because of the people who work for and with it, and I have enjoyed working with all of them.”

Dr. Murck said that a search for Nancy’s successor will begin soon and that a smooth and orderly transition is expected.