Wilkes University has selected David M. Ward, Ph.D. as its senior vice president and provost. In this role, Ward will serve as the chief academic officer of Wilkes, leading the University’s scholarship, programs and initiatives, and working with the deans and faculty of its six academic schools and colleges. He will start at Wilkes in June.
Ward comes to Wilkes from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where he served as provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs from 2017 through 2020, leading an academic unit that included 36 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs serving a total 7,698 students. During this time, the university experienced significant enrollment growth and created a shared vision around new program development and retention.
In announcing his appointment, Wilkes President Greg Cant cited Ward’s breadth of leadership and teaching experience.
“Dr. Ward’s dedication to educational access, his experience at distinctly diverse institutions and his passion for inclusion and equity will be an incredible asset to Wilkes,” said Cant. “I am eager for David to join me as a senior member of our leadership team and to help lead our University through the pandemic and into a new strategic vision. I want to thank the search committee for identifying such a capable candidate.”
Ward was selected for the position following a national search. The search process and committee can be found here.
“I am thrilled to be joining President Cant and the team at Wilkes University. Wilkes offers students an exciting mix of high-quality academic programs,” said Ward. “In all my interactions, it became clear to me that the faculty and staff put student success at the forefront of their work. I look forward to helping lead Wilkes into what I see as a very bright future.”
MBA student Kya Lewis, who also earned her bachelor’s degree from Wilkes in 2019, said, “As one of the student representatives on the search committee, I had the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Ward when he visited campus. I think Wilkes, in particular our students, will find his outgoing personality and approachable nature to be a wonderful addition to our campus community.”
Prior to joining UNC Pembroke, Ward was the dean of the College of Health Professions at Georgia Southern University, formerly Armstrong State University, in Savannah, Ga., where he also served a one-year term as interim provost. Ward served as dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions at the University of New England and served in a number of administrative positions, including associate dean of academic and student affairs, at the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Ward has taught at each of his institutions and served in various faculty positions since 1993. His research activities have focused on the use of cost-effectiveness analysis and linear programming for increasing the efficiency of health care spending. Ward has numerous peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Health Care Financing Review, Public Budgeting and Financial Management and the American Journal of Public Health. In addition, he has co-authored multiple editions of three different cost accounting textbooks.
Ward received his doctorate and master’s degree in public administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colgate University.