Dr Jeremy Moreland

William Woods Board of Trustees names top regional university academic leader as institution’s 13th president

Dr. Jeremy L. Moreland chosen to lead WWU

Following a national search of more than six months, the William Woods University (WWU) Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Dr. Jeremy Moreland, 49, as the 13th president in the history of William Woods University. The current provost and chief academic officer at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, Dr. Moreland will officially succeed Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, who announced her transition earlier this year after 31 years as president, on October 1, 2021.

Board of Trustees Chair Romaine Seguin officially announced the appointment of Dr. Moreland today, after leading the national search as head of the presidential search committee.

“Just a year after our University marked the milestone of the 150th anniversary of its founding, today we begin a new era for William Woods with the appointment of Dr. Moreland as our new president,” Seguin said. “An outstanding and visionary leader, Dr. Moreland understands and appreciates the value of professions-based, student-oriented universities like William Woods, having devoted his impressive career to the success and inclusion of all students, progressive education and scholarship. He is just the individual to lead William Woods to new heights in achieving our academic mission.”

Dr Jeremy Moreland

Dr. Moreland’s 23-year career in higher education leadership includes his present position as provost and chief academic officer at St. Thomas University, a private, regionally-accredited university of more than 5,500 students that was ranked as the top regional university in the U.S. South for Social Mobility in 2020 by U.S. News and World Report. In his current role, he is responsible for oversight of academic programs, instruction, classroom and online delivery, curriculum, assessment and quality assurance; accreditation and regulatory affairs; academic operations; assessment and institutional effectiveness; research and scholarship; policy and governance; strategic planning; registrar and budget oversight.

Since Dr. Moreland became provost and chief academic officer at St. Thomas in January 2019, the University has demonstrated rapid, sweeping and sustainable success, including an increase in enrollment of more than 30%; three record-breaking incoming traditional age freshman classes; consecutive operating budget surpluses; record high online enrollment; implementation of a multi-point, hybrid advising model, resulting in improved student retention; increased class size and availability across colleges and expanded in-house online delivery, and multiple agreements with industry, employers, military and other higher education institutions.

The selection of Dr. Moreland comes after the board and search committee engaged in a comprehensive, national search that included visits to campus by the finalists and involvement from a wide range of University constituents. Seguin said the detailed process led to a selection that is consistent with the qualities in a new president expressed by University stakeholders.

“Throughout the long interview process, we had an opportunity to interact with some exceptionally talented individuals, and are fortunate to have landed the best of them as our next William Woods president,” Seguin said. “Dr. Moreland is a man of vision, strategic thinking and integrity, an excellent communicator who is equally effective and comfortable with faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors. His leadership has been instrumental in growing St. Thomas’ stature as a university in a short time and he is uniquely qualified to lead William Woods to great success as its 13th president.”

“I am humbled and honored to become president of William Woods University, and am excited to have the opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of this historic institution,” said Dr. Moreland. “It will be my honor to work closely with the trustees, faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and friends of the University to continue to uphold the highest standards of excellence and integrity, delivered in an environment that promotes academic freedom and inclusion.”

Prior to joining St. Thomas University, Dr. Moreland had a long and successful career in higher education, serving as provost and chief academic officer at the University of the Rockies (Denver, Colorado) from 2016-2019; and in increasingly responsible positions at the University of Phoenix (Arizona) from 2004 through 2016, including academic dean and executive director, associate dean and doctoral research faculty of the School of Advanced Studies; and director of institutional assessment and planning for the office of the president at Phoenix College (Arizona) from 2001 to 2004. Additional past experience includes education research associate and accountability data administrator for the Arizona Department of Education, institutional research associate for the office of the president at Collin County Community College (Plano, Texas), and training and research consultant at the Institute of Behavioral Research at Texas Christian University.

A native of Oklahoma who was raised in Texas, Dr. Moreland earned doctorate (1998) and master’s (1996) degrees in General Experimental Psychology from Texas Christian University. He is a 1993 graduate of Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Hearing Impaired Studies/Sign Language.

He is married to Diane Moreland, and together they have two daughters. “Becoming president of William Woods University is without a doubt the pinnacle of my professional career,” said Dr. Moreland. “I will advocate tirelessly on behalf of our exceptional institution and seek to achieve excellence in everything we do, to make sure our great University realizes its full potential.”