By Chelsea Weeks, News Editor (Courtesy photo/Susan DeWoody)
While the search is on for a new vice president for academic affairs (VPAA), Dr. Whitlock appointed Dr. Susan DeWoody, dean of the college of graduate and professional studies, to serve as the Interim VPAA.
“Scripture tells us in Colossians 3 to work at whatever we do with our whole heart in service to the Lord, so it is my hope that I will be found faithful in all that I do in service to OBU,” DeWoody said.
“I am both honored and humbled that Dr. [David] Whitlock and the leadership team at OBU would ask me to fill the gap during this interim period until the next academic vice president is appointed at OBU.”
Fortunately, the role as an interim VPAA is not unknown territory to DeWoody. She has previously served as an academic vice president at another Christian college and plans to use those experiences to help her here at OBU.
“Through this role and my role as graduate dean, I have the opportunity to continue to work closely with the six other academic deans at OBU which I immensely enjoy,” DeWoody said.
“We are fortunate at OBU to employ a world-class faculty, so I consider it a gift to get to know the traditional undergraduate faculty more through this interim appointment.”
A search committee was appointed by Dr. Whitlock and is chaired by Dr. Will Smallwood, senior vice president for advancement and university relations. On the committee is three faculty, two academic deans, and a member of OBU’s athletic administration.
“While the search committee would like to conclude the search as soon as possible with a top-notch candidate accepting the role, we are prepared to seek the wisdom of the Lord and conduct a national search for our next Chief Academic Officer,” DeWoody said.
Requirements that the search committee is looking for in a VPAA include a doctorly qualified, Christ centered leader with secondary teaching experience.
“The leader will be tasked with the leadership and supervision of academic affairs and Bison athletics, as well as institutional effectiveness and research,” DeWoody said.
“The position will serve on the executive leadership team, and take part in strategic planning and accreditation activities as well.”
Although the search is a vital step for OBU, DeWoody hopes it doesn’t affect the lives of those on campus.
“We hope that the search will have minimal impact on the OBU community,” DeWoody said.
“The academic deans and I are committed to continue to serve our faculty and students well in pursuit of the OBU mission and academic excellence.”