Steven Titus inaugurated as 29th IWC president
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
Iowa Wesleyan College inaugurated its 29th college president, Dr. Steven E. Titus, on Friday.
Titus was chosen president by the IWC Board of Trustees in May of 2013, succeeding President Jay Simmons, and came to Mt. Pleasant to assume his duties in July.
Since his arrival, Iowa Wesleyan has seen several changes, including cutting 45 faculty and staff positions and 16 majors – a change that has overshadowed much of the other recent developments at the college.
“This year we endeavored to respond to the realities and opportunities before us,” said Titus in his presidential address on Friday. “This resulted in reorganizing the college and a number of academic programs. We lost too many good colleagues in this endeavor, too many. And to those colleagues, we say ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you for your dedicated service and your wonderful contributions.’”
Titus went on to highlight some of the other changes at the college since his arrival, including launching the commission on academic excellence, initiating the first dual enrollment program in connection with the Mt. Pleasant Community School District, new graduate education program, expanding online programs, online delivery capacity to multiple states, and fundamentally changing the approach to enrollment management.
“Across the nation colleges and universities are being stretched and tested to respond quickly to the intense external pressures around issues of access, affordability, accountability, academic quality, student outcomes and performance and continuous improvements,” Titus said. “The higher education landscape is much different today than five years ago, and it continues to shift as we attempt to respond to new realities and the opportunities before us.”
Titus was welcomed on Friday by addresses from several members of the Iowa Wesleyan community, including Chair of the Faculty Ann Klingensmith.
“Like the swift moving winds of that polar vortex that pushed us on slippery sidewalks and steps, our institution has been shifted with our own changes,” Klingensmith said. “Together with President Titus, we will look for sure footing and embrace the changes that are in the winds of higher education today.”
Mt. Pleasant Mayor Steve Brimhall welcomed Titus during his speech and noted the influence IWC has on the local community.
“We are blessed here in Mt. Pleasant to have this faith-based higher education institution that entices our young people to stay in Mt. Pleasant and receive an excellent education,” said Brimhall. “(Iowa Wesleyan) engages outreach to the brother community to allow for transformational and lifelong learning opportunities, and it works to serve our community’s needs while focusing a tangent on growth and prosperity.
“Iowa Wesleyan College is a positive force in our community,” continued Brimhall. “And I am delighted you have been selected to lead this institution and strengthen this connection with the greater community.”