Dr. White is currently serving his seventh year as the 15th president of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. During his tenure at Wabash, Dr. White developed a student-focused strategic plan; guided the College through the financial turmoil of 2008-2009; completed a comprehensive academic program and unqualified Self-Study Report that led to reaccreditation; secured a number of grants to establish new programs; achieved success in the Challenge of Excellence capital campaign that exceeded its $60 million goal by $8 million; and completed a $6 million Athletics Field Campaign.
“Growing up in Dixon, Illinois, I have known about Millikin and its excellence all my life,” remarked White. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work with faculty, staff, alumni, students, and the Board of Trustees to move Millikin University forward during this time of transition.”
As interim president, Dr. White will lead Millikin University for approximately 12 to 18 months while a national search for the 15th president of Millikin University is conducted.
“We’re pleased to welcome Dr. White to Millikin to serve in this role,” remarked Chairman of the Millikin University Board of Trustees Van Dukeman. “We are confident that his expertise and experience in private higher education will serve him well as Millikin’s interim president and will aid Millikin as we prepare to welcome our 15th president.”
Dr. White added, “James Millikin’s founding commitment at the start of the last century to an education that would join theory and practice, the liberal arts and professional life, creativity and knowledge finds expression now in the University’s pervasive engagement in ‘performance learning.’ This dedication to putting ideas and methods into action drives students, faculty, staff, and alumni to make a positive difference as vital leaders shaping the next century.”
Dr. White served as Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., from 2002 – 2006. Previously, he was the Associate Dean of Faculty from 1988 to 2002, and served the all-women’s college as Professor of English. He spearheaded a number of academic initiatives at Saint Mary’s, including establishing the Center for Academic Innovation and the creation of grants that supported collaborative research between faculty and students and among the faculty members themselves. Dr. White was also one of the designers of Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s InterCultural Leadership, a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative.
Earlier in his career, Dr. White was the chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Pfeiffer College in Misenheimer, N.C., from 1985-1988, and taught at Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa, from 1976 – 1985. Dr. White earned an A.B. in English from the University of Chicago in 1971, a M.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 1975, and a doctorate of English and American Literature from the University of Iowa in 1980.
Dr. White and his wife, Chris, have twin daughters, Katie and Molly, and a son, Paddy.
Dr. White added, “My wife Chris and I are very pleased to be joining the Millikin community, as we help Millikin build on its strong foundation and work for the future with pride and enthusiasm.”
Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features “performance learning,” a unique learning approach offering students the chance to build the confidence to succeed before and after graduation. Students choose from more than 50 majors from the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business. Millikin is located at a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Illinois. Last year, 97% of Millikin graduates gained employment or admission into professional/graduate school within six months of graduation. More information is available at www.millikin.edu.