WWU Hires New Vice President, Dean of Graduate & Adult Studies

Dr. Michael Westerfield joins William Woods as the new vice president Dr. Michael Westerfieldand dean of Graduate & Adult Studies. He comes to WWU from Rochester College (Mich.), where he was president for five years.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Westerfield to William Woods University,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said. “He brings a vast amount of administrative experience in higher education to the table, including his years as a college president. I am sure we will all benefit from his knowledge and expertise.”


Westerfield completed his associate of arts degree at York College (Neb.). He went on to earn three degrees in English—a B.A. at Harding University (Searcy, Ark.), an M.A. at Pittsburg State University (Kan.) and a Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Originally an English professor, he began his administrative career in 1977 as assistant to the academic vice president at York College. In 1987, he was appointed vice president for student services at York College and two years later was named the administrative vice president. He became provost at Rochester College in 1995 and served eight years before being appointed president of the college.


Westerfield has frequently served as consultant for organizations and schools, including the Nebraska Educational Television Consortium of Higher Education; the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif.; Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing, Mich.; Newman University in Wichita, Kan., and TCMI, a graduate institution in Vienna, Austria.


He has also been elected to numerous boards and committees, including the Accreditation Review Committee, Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association; chair of the National Conference of Academic Deans; member of the Assessment Committee for the Higher Learning Commission, and, most recently, the Executive Board of Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Michigan (AICUM).


Dr. Westerfield’s academic and professional career has been marked by numerous awards, including the Outstanding Graduating English Major-Harding University, York College’s Dale R. Larsen Teacher of Achievement Award, York College Teacher of the Year (five times) and Outstanding Alumnus, College of Arts and Humanities, Harding University.