FAIRBORN —Chancellor Dennis Shields, one of Wright State University’s final three presidential candidates, visited campus Feb. 2, highlighting his priorities regarding student success, a sound budget and strong community relations. His tour of both the Dayton and Lake campuses will continue through Saturday, Feb. 4.
“It is a remarkable institution,” Shields said of the college. “Given its youth, it is remarkable — the impact it has — the research, the extraordinary students it has and its committment to engaging the community.”
The remaining two finalists for Wright State’s presidential position will visit the campus from Sunday, Feb. 5 through Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Tuesday, Feb. 7 through Thursday, Feb. 9, respectively.
Shields, currently of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, met with students, staff, faculty, administrators, the Board of Trustees and community leaders during his time in the Miami Valley.
“Putting the student experience in the forefront resonates with me,” Shields wrote in his cover letter. “The commitment to impactful research and creative endeavors, community service, and the economic well-being of the region are also listed as primary aspects of the mission. The vision emphasizes learning, innovation, and respect. The values center on people, relationships social justice in all its forms, and fiscal stewardship. The mission, vision and values are in sync with my core commitments to being a humility based leader that is outcome oriented.”
Shields joined the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2010. Previously, he served as acting vice president of student affairs at the City College of New York-City University of New York; dean and professor of law at the Phoenix School of Law; and associate dean of admissions and financial aid at Duke University School of Law. He also held administrative positions in academic affairs, admissions and financial aid at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Iowa.
“The strong research and medical education programs are significant contributors to the local economy and health care industry,” Shields wrote in his cover letter. “When I first contemplated pursuing the presidency of a university I realized that I needed to look for institutions whose missions matched my passions for community engagement, access and opportunity. I focused my search on AASCU institutions, as their membership is comprised of a variety of public universities that, like WSU, serve the regions where they are located. I would be energized by the opportunity to lead and collaborate with all WSU stakeholders in serving the region.”
Shields earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Graceland College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law.
To view Shields’ CV, letter of interest and the full schedule of his tour of the campus, visit wright.edu/presidential-search/candidate-visits#shields.
“Presidents lead by example,” he wrote. “The president demonstrates that the interests of the institution are paramount. He/she leads by example in being transparent, truthful and ethical in all interactions and transactions involving the university.”
Wright State’s current president, Dr. David Hopkins, announced his retirement May 2, 2016, saying he would step down when his contract expires at the conclusion of June this year. The school went to work finding his replacement in the following months, forming a search committee that includes 21 individuals and hiring Academic Search, a specialized search firm, to assist in the process.
Wright State intends on announcing Hopkins successor, the seventh individual that will take the university’s reins, in the coming warmer months.
Greene County News Report compiled by Whitney Vickers.