Arthur Johnson was appointed interim president of Lindenwood University earlier this week, where 10,000 students attend classes.
In an interview with student newspaper, Lindenlink, Johnson said that he decided to forgo his college education, choosing instead to work at his father’s advertising agency.
Chris Duggan, the university’s spokesman, told St. Louis Public Radio that because the university is a private institution “we don’t feel compelled to discuss either (Johnson’s) compensation or his academic history.”
Johnson did not return a call for comment.
Johnson went to work for his father’s business, KSJ Advertising in 1973, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. He then went to work for one of KSJ’s clients, AAA Motor Club. He worked there for 28 years, the last seven as the company’s chief executive officer. He retired in 2013.
Johnson, a former Lindenwood University board member and vice chairman, was named to take over after former president Michael Shonrock was fired last week. David Cosby, another trustee, was named as vice chairman. A search committee has been formed to find a permanent replacement.
Shonrock’s departure comes soon after Brett Barger, the head of Lindenwood’s Belleville campus, was placed on leave.
The university has failed to give a reason for either Shonrock’s or Barger’s departures, stating “personnel reasons.”
Instructor positions advertised at the university require at least a Master’s Degree with a preference for a doctoral degree. Shonrock has a PhD. Barger has a doctorate in education.
Johnson is 64. He also a member of the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners for the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Chapter of the American Red Cross.
He has said he has no interest serving as the university’s president permanently.
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