Nebraska Wesleyan Names Whittier College Vice President as its 17th President

Cover design for Navigating PluralismDr. Darrin Good has been named the 17th President of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Nebraska Wesleyan University Board of Governors Chair Susan Gourley announced the appointment today, following unanimous approval by the university’s governing body.

“Dr. Good is an energetic, values-based leader, who is a sincere advocate for the liberal arts,” said Gourley. “He is student-centered and innovative as proven in the many programs and partnerships he has developed to benefit the institutions and students he has served.”

“He is a champion for diversity and inclusion efforts, as evidenced not only through his vocational journey but through his personal values and qualities,” Gourley continued.

“He embodies every characteristic that the Board of Governors and the Presidential Search Committee sought out in its next leader, and I am confident Dr. Good will provide the steady and thoughtful leadership necessary to continue Nebraska Wesleyan’s success and momentum well into the future,” she said.

Since 2015, Good has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Whittier College, located near Los Angeles, Calif. Whittier College is one of the country’s most ethnically/racially diverse private national liberal arts colleges with an enrollment of 1,700 students.

In his role at Whittier, Good is responsible for 20 academic departments with 130 full-time faculty and several offices that support the academic mission of the institution. He oversees hiring, personnel evaluation, budget and curriculum. He is known for his commitment to consensus-building, shared governance, and diversity, equity and inclusion. He has worked closely with faculty, staff and students to develop policies and programs that strengthen Whittier’s academic programs including developing new majors and revenue-generating programs. Under his leadership, the faculty has initiated major curricular revision, improved Title IX policies, and improved faculty evaluation practices. He helped create and serves on both the school’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee as well as the Student Success Task Force. Good also serves as the Title IX Deputy Director.

Among his achievements at Whittier College, are:

  • Creation of a certificate program in healthcare leadership, which generated nearly $1 million in revenue in its first three years;
  • Creation of the GPS Study Abroad Program, which provides a $2,000 scholarship to every student who studies abroad;
  • Creation of the Faculty Development Program to nurture and support high-quality teaching, advising and scholarship;
  • Worked with faculty to implement interdisciplinary and collaborative space utilization to facilitate cross-disciplinary approach to STEM education in Whittier’s award-winning science building remodel;
  • Collaborated with the college’s admission office to capitalize on Whittier’s academic programs and new Science and Learning Center to attract the school’s largest first-year classes in decades in 2017 and 2018.

Prior to Whittier College, Good served as the Associate Provost and Dean of Science and Education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., from 2012-2015. Prior to that he was a biology professor at his alma mater, Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., where he assumed administrative roles including Director of Service Learning and Leadership Initiatives, Director of Summer Academic Programs, Director of Nicaragua Medical Service Learning Program, Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences, Chair of the Governing Board of the Pre-Health Professions, and Admissions Coordinator for Biology and Pre-Health Professions.

While at Augustana, Good was chosen by the graduating class six times to present the year’s “Last Lecture Address,” among the school’s highest teaching and mentoring honors.

Good earned his bachelor’s degree with a major in biology from Augustana College and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas. Good and his wife, Diana, have an adult daughter.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as the 17th president of Nebraska Wesleyan University,” said Good. “The university’s reputation for excellence is known throughout the country.”

“The mission and ethos of this great institution resonate deeply with my wife’s and my core values,” he added. “I will work tirelessly to continue NWU’s tradition of student-centered learning that is rooted in the liberal arts, its commitment to community engagement, respect for the value and dignity of each individual, and the high impact co-curricular experiences that have been the hallmark of a Nebraska Wesleyan education.”

He begins his work at NWU on July 1st. He takes over for President Fred Ohles who is retiring after 12 years at NWU.

UPDATE – December 5, 2018

The search for Nebraska Wesleyan’s next president is progressing well and as planned. The Presidential Search Committee met in late November and continued its multi-stage selection process to identify candidates whose backgrounds and experiences are especially consistent with the qualities and qualifications established for the search. The national candidate pool is broad and strong. At the meeting, the search committee chose to advance a select group for confidential preliminary interviews. Following those interviews, the committee will identify a small number of semi-finalists for initial reference checking.

On April 5, 2018, Dr. Fred Ohles announced plans to retire as the university’s 16th president, effective July 1, 2019.

Board of Governors chair Susan Gourley appointed Board Secretary Kim Moore (’90) to chair the Presidential Search Committee. The search committee, composed of governors, faculty, staff, alumni and student members, will conduct the national search. Each member of the Presidential Search Committee has signed a Code of Ethics that, among other things, pledges to respect the confidentiality of all candidates.

Julie Tea and Susan VanGilder of the executive search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, will support the search committee in its work.

The Presidential Search Committee has produced a detailed PDF iconprospectus for the position of president of Nebraska Wesleyan University. The document provides an overview of NWU’s history, programs and operations, along with details about the opportunities and challenges of the position and the desired qualifications and characteristics of our next leader. 

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Nebraska Wesleyan University
5000 Saint Paul Avenue
Lincoln, NE 68504
(800) 541-3818
(402) 466-2371

Presidential Search Committee

  • Kim Moore ’90, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and Secretary of the Board of Governors
  • Eduardo Boussón, University Ministries
  • Kevin Cook ’86, Governor
  • Nathanael Fackler, Professor of Chemistry
  • John Gerrard ’76, L.H.D. ’13, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors
  • Susan Gourley, Chair of the Board of Governors
  • Daphne Hall ’92, Governor
  • Brad Hurrell ’73, Governor
  • Karen Linder ’82, President and CEO, Tethon 3D; Principal, Linseed Capital
  • Angie Muhleisen ’81, LL.D. 12, Governor Emerita
  • Kendra Mullins, student
  • L. G. Searcey, Treasurer of the Board of Governors
  • Cori Vokoun, Governor
  • Meghan Winchell, Professor of History
  • Ira Zeff, Director of Athletics