Northwest Missouri State University Provost Dr. Doug Dunham will resign his position, effective June 30, to become vice president for academic affairs at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, the institutions announced today.
Dunham, who came to Northwest in 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, has served as the University’s chief academic officer since 2010. He was appointed interim provost in 2009 and also served Northwest as associate provost; interim director of the Office of Assessment, Information and Analysis; and chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences from 2005 to 2007.
Dunham said the move is a personal and professional decision, and acknowledged it is difficult for him to leave Northwest.
“I have grown as a person, as a faculty member, as a member of a team and as a leader,” Dunham said. “This growth has occurred not only because of the opportunities and challenges I have had, but more importantly because of the people.
“I will be leaving a community that has highly capable and dedicated people who bring a level of expertise and genuine concern for the University, its students, its employees and one another that it is tough for me to fully appreciate at this point how difficult it will be for me to leave.”
Dunham also expressed pride in the work of the University’s Dean’s Council– a team of institutional leaders that meets regularly to discuss issues and determine policy related to academics – and that group’s accomplishments during his five years in the provost office.
“They, too, are a highly competent, caring, compassionate team of people who are constantly focused on the success of our students and care about one another,” Dunham said. “They are all leaders and, individually and collectively, will continue to advance the University.”
Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski commended Dunham’s ability to address issues related to access, affordability and quality within and across academic lines. Jasinski also credited Dunham for playing an important role in Northwest achieving 100 percent of the funding appropriated to the University under the state’s performance-based funding model during the last two years as well as its successes with accreditation and job placement. Northwest’s most recent data show 97.4 percent of its students earning an undergraduate degree and 99 percent for graduate students land a job or enroll in additional degree programs within six months of graduating.
“Doug has been a stalwart Bearcat,” Jasinski said. “Whether it be through teaching, advising, serving in a variety of positions, or protecting and advancing academic quality through his leadership as our chief academic officer, he has been student focused.
“Doug has helped hone our student success model, shepherded a number of improvements within our processes and drive programming changes focused on student and employer needs. Ultimately, he has been a champion for our students as we help provide a more educated citizenry and for our faculty. We wish him the best and he will remain a Bearcat in his support of our exciting efforts moving forward.”
Dunham holds a doctorate degree in experimental psychology with an emphasis in psychophysiology from Washington University in St. Louis. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. In addition, he received advanced training in his field at the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry where he completed a post-doctoral fellowship through a grant from the National Institutes of Alcoholism and Abuse.
Rockhurst University is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit universities in the United States and is the only institution in the Kansas City area to have earned the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Dunham was selected after a nationwide search led by an internal search committee.