President Jane Wood
Dr. Jane Wood accepted the call to serve as Bluffton’s 10th president, beginning July 1, 2018.
“Dr. Wood has demonstrated success in achieving enrollment growth at several institutions by leading academic program innovation, strategic planning, alignment and visioning processes that moved those institutions forward, along with proven success in building relationships for public and private partnerships to broaden the school’s reach,” said Kent Yoder, chairperson of the Bluffton University Board of Trustees. “She is a committed Christian with leadership experience at both Catholic and Protestant institutions and a passion for social justice. We are excited that she was drawn to Bluffton for its mission, history and faith tradition rooted in peace and social justice.”
Dr. Wood previously served as the vice president of academic affairs and dean at Mount Marty College, a Benedictine liberal arts institution in Yankton, S.D. Her previous professional positions were at Westminster College, in New Wilmington, Pa.; Park University and University of Missouri, both in Kansas City, Mo.; and at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan. Her experience in higher education includes positions as a tenured faculty member, department chair, academic dean and vice president. Dr. Wood earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree in English literature from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Missouri.
“This is an exciting time in the life of Bluffton University and it will be an honor to build on the substantial and outstanding programs that are already in place and innovate with the campus community to build new programs that will provide sustainable bridges to the future,” said Wood. “I will lead with an appreciation for Bluffton’s history and its fine reputation as an institution firmly rooted in the ideals of the liberal arts and sciences and framed by the values of the Mennonite/Anabaptist faith. Bluffton’s compelling mission, distinctive history and traditions offer an opportunity to refine and connect a successful past with an exciting future.”
In her previous roles, Dr. Wood worked collaboratively with faculty, staff, students and public and private partners to develop strategic plans that spurred enrollment growth through academic program development including undergraduate, adult studies and graduate-level programs.
Dr. Wood also has experience in implementing successful Title IX program improvements, including diversity hiring initiatives, and in fundraising. She has a breadth of experience with different college settings including serving for and interacting with students and faculty at public, private, and Catholic and Presbyterian institutions.
“As a woman who was born and raised in the United Methodist Church (and where my husband and I raised our two daughters), I understand the power of faith as it resonates in individual lives and as it infuses organizations,” said Wood. “Faith is central in my own life and my integrity is guided by my deepening spiritual compass. I am drawn to Bluffton’s Mennonite/Anabaptist faith history for multiple reasons. As a trained mediator, I am committed to Bluffton’s restorative justice principles and understand that Bluffton has always been welcoming to students of all faith backgrounds and is committed to encouraging informed understanding and dialogue, core values that are in great need during this time in our nation and our world. Bluffton’s mission is both special and essential and why I feel called to serve and lead at this time.”