Wabash President Dr. Gregory D. Hess, has been selected to serve as the vice president for a one-year term beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, it was announced by NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski. Ohio Wesleyan President Dr. Rock F. Jones continues his term as the president of the NCAC president over this same academic year.
Hess, the 16th president of Wabash College, is in his fifth year after his election on July 1, 2013. Wabash is The Liberal Arts College for Men, and its mission is “to educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.” Dr. Hess has thoughtfully articulated the value of a liberal arts education for men, while leading the College through strategic planning processes that will shape the course of the institution through its 200th anniversary in 2032.
He has launched four co-curricular “Liberal Arts Plus” initiatives in Democracy and Public Discourse, Digital Arts and Human Values, Global Health, and the Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. He has led Wabash through extensive assessments of every administrative office on campus, and produced the College’s first comprehensive Campus Master Plan. In August 2016, the College completed a $23 million investment in student housing, including 130 beds in six buildings in the Residential Life District and a massive renovation of the College's flagship residence hall, Martindale.
Dr. Hess serves on the board of directors of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Great Lakes Colleges Association, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Club of Indiana. Prior to his tenure at Wabash, Dr. Hess was Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Claremont McKenna College at Claremont, California.
In addition to his role as Dean of the Faculty at Claremont McKenna, Dr. Hess was the James G. Boswell Professor of Economics and a George R. Roberts Fellow. In that role, he oversaw all aspects pertaining to academic affairs, including the curriculum, the Center for Global Education, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurism, athletics, institutional research, student learning outcome assessments, and information technology.
Jones has served as the NCAC's president since July 1, 2017. He was elected as Ohio Wesleyan's 16th president on July 1, 2008, has created a University-wide strategic plan to renew its curriculum and solidify Ohio Wesleyan as a national leader in liberal arts education. Prior to joining Ohio Wesleyan, he worked for Hendrix, serving in roles that included executive vice president and dean of advancement, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid, interim vice president for student affairs, and chaplain.
He has undertaken several projects to enhance the overall student experience on campus since 2008, including an $8 million, donor-funded restoration of Merrick Hall to create a physical hub for students to learn more about the OWU Connection and all of the educational opportunities available to them during their four years on campus. He also created a long-term Student Housing Master Plan that completed a $14 million, donor-funded restoration of Stuyvesant Hall, OWU's oldest residence hall.
Jones has also made a concerted effort to improve the athletic facilities that support OWU's 23 men's and women's varsity sports as well as many intramural and club sports. Some of the major improvements to the athletic facilities during his time include creating the new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center, building the Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center, the restoration of Edwards Gym, adding stadium lighting to Selby Stadium and opening the Luttinger Family Tennis Center.
Locally, President Jones serves on the boards of the Strand Theatre and the Community Foundation of Delaware County, where he chairs the Investment Committee. He also is a board member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, serves on the Tax Policy Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, is a member of the Executive Committee of Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, is chair of the Ohio Campus Compact and serves on the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.
Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference consists of 10 academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster along with affiliate member Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.