DWU announces appointment of 21st president

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Dr. Daniel R. Kittle will become the Dakota Wesleyan University’s 21st president, according to Doug Powers, chairman of the DWU Board of Trustees. The announcement of Kittle’s appointment was made at an all-campus meeting today.

Said Board of Trustees chair Doug Powers, “The board and the entire Dakota Wesleyan community are so very pleased to welcome Dr. Dan Kittle and his family to the university. Our charge as a board was to find the best possible candidate and we are certain that Dr. Kittle’s background and experiences have well prepared him to carry out the important work of leading the university.”

Dr. Kittle currently serves as the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa. He has served Wartburg for over 16 years, starting in Academic Affairs with administrative responsibility for faculty development and community engagement. After serving in that role for three years, Dr. Kittle was promoted to Director of the Center for Community Engagement in 2008. In 2012, he was appointed the Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives. He was appointed the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students in 2015.

He continues to be active in the classroom, teaching a first-year seminar each fall as well as regularly teaching a graduate class on the history of higher education in the United States. His recent work includes leading the development of Wartburg’s strategic plan focused on strategic enrollment growth, improving retention, and curricular innovation.

Dr. Kittle is committed to success in his new role. “I am honored to accept the call to serve Dakota Wesleyan University. I want to be a servant leader for the university, a good steward of the enduring mission and values while also inspiring the Dakota Wesleyan University community to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Dr. Kittle, who grew up in Bazetta, a small township in Ohio, earned a B.S. in public relations and political science from Heidelberg University, an M.A. in political science and a Ph.D. in higher, adult, learning and education from Michigan State University (MSU). In 2009, Dr. Kittle completed the Foundations of Christian Leadership program through Duke University.

While serving in Student Affairs at MSU, his position was jointly supported by the university and the City of East Lansing, charging him with leading efforts to build community between members of both entities. Shortly after arriving at Wartburg College, Dr. Kittle and a group of community leaders founded the Bremer County Recovery Coalition, a regional organization tasked with disaster relief. In addition, he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Blue Mountain Project (BMP), an international non-governmental organization dedicated to partnering with the people of the Hagley Gap District of Jamaica to improve the region’s health, education and economy. He and his wife served with BMP in Jamaica for a year.

He is married to Ashley Kittle, a conservation professional with a special interest in ecosystems management. She has worked as a naturalist and conservationist most recently focused on soil and water conservation practices. They have a 7-year-old son, Grant, who enjoys soccer, Cub Scouts and being outside.

Dr. Kittle commented on what lies ahead. “I enter this community with a spirit of humility, with much to learn, and equally with determination, knowing that we have compelling opportunities and challenges.”

Dr. Kittle will assume the presidency of DWU in March 2022.