Union’s New Academic Dean selected to speak at Harvard University

New academic VP and Dean of the college David Johns, PhD, is bringing distinction to Union. He has been asked to give a speach at Harvard University.
New academic VP and Dean of the college David Johns, PhD, is bringing distinction to Union.

David Johns, Ph.D., Union College’s new Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the college, has brought attention to the Kentucky college through his work with three prestigious institutions — Harvard University, Oxford University Press and Guilford College — for his research on Quaker theology and leadership in higher education.


Johns has been selected to attend the Harvard Institute for Educational Management, part of the university’s Graduate School of Education, in Cambridge, Mass., from July 13-25. Through this leadership development program, he will join a select group of educational professionals to assess and develop tangible strategies for long-term institutional success.


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He was selected for this endowed lectureship for his significant contributions to Quaker studies.


Johns joined Union College on July 1, 2013. He came from Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Ind., where he served as associate professor of theology. Prior to that, he worked at Wilmington College as assistant professor of religion and philosophy and campus minister, and at Malone University as adjunct professor of religious studies and a reference librarian. He also has been a guest lecturer in colleges and institutes in Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico, and led study abroad student groups to Latin America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Malone University, a master’s in theology from Earlham School of Religion, a master’s in library science from Kent State University and a doctorate in theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.


At Union, Johns is focusing his attention on developing new programs to engage students in global thinking, building on the college’s existing strong Appalachian studies work, as well as encouraging Union faculty professional development that will expand their influence in the classroom and beyond.


“Union College is very proud of Dr. Johns’ recent accomplishments and the positive attention he is bringing to our school, “ said Union President Marcia Hawkins. “His leadership and commitment to combining spiritual-centered education with a broader world view will open up a wealth of new opportunities for our students, faculty and the community.”