WILMINGTON — Wilmington College selected a higher education professional with 30 years of experience to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. Blake Faulkner will assume the position of interim vice president for academic affairs/dean of the faculty July 1, when the current vice president, Dr. Erika Goodwin, becomes interim president as President Jim Reynolds leaves to head Millikin University in Illinois and the College searches for its next chief executive.
Faulkner’s breadth of executive-level leadership runs the gamut from athletics and enrollment management to advancement, administration, academic affairs and the presidency. He also has experience as a coach and faculty member.
The president and founder of InnovateH.Ed Associates, Faulkner and his colleagues have provided consultation to public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities in areas ranging from accreditation and strategic planning to enrollment growth strategies and developing online and hybrid strategies.
He noted that, in learning about the College, the institution’s vision and educational philosophy “melds” an appreciation for the liberal arts with career preparation.
“In the digital age in which we live, where the pace of change continues to accelerate at an unprecedented rate, it is imperative that we equip students with both the career-focused professions, as well as the ability to change, learn and grow throughout their lifetimes,” he said.
“Educating the whole person — intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual — has never been more important than it is today in preparing students to thrive in all aspects of their lives, now and into the future.”
Faulkner said he is impressed with what he describes as WC’s “robust sense of community and shared purpose,” calling those characteristics as among the College’s greatest assets.
“Today, all colleges are trying to adapt and keep up with the rapidly changing needs of students, business, industry and society,” he said. “This ability to adapt and respond has become even more heightened as we all cope with the current pandemic and look forward to what opportunities, challenges and shifts may emerge that require our response.”
He added that the “foundational values” that have steered Wilmington College since its inception 150 years ago “will continue to be the pillars” that will guide and support it into the future.
Faulkner lauded Reynolds and the campus community for positioning the College well for the future as he looks forward to coming to Wilmington.
“As the interim vice president, I think the most important thing I can do is to support interim President Erika Goodwin, the faculty, staff and students as, together, we transition and adapt to the new ‘normal’ following the current pandemic; and maintain positive momentum at Wilmington College moving forward.”