Houghton College is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Samuel J. “Jack” Connell (’83) as the new dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs, replacing Dr. Linda Mills Woolsey, who will be returning to the classroom at the end of this academic year.

Connell is a Houghton alumnus with a rich and diverse employment history in both ministry and higher education.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Jack Connell join Houghton’s leadership team and to continue the good work done by Dr. Linda Mills Woolsey as she returns to the classroom,” said Houghton College President Shirley Mullen. “Dr. Connell’s wide-ranging professional experience both inside and outside the world of higher education will allow us to more effectively connect Houghton’s longstanding academic strengths with the needs of our various constituencies.”

For the past eight years, Connell has held leadership positions at Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, N.Y., including executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“Houghton College is a place of rare and remarkable academic distinction, and I am honored by this opportunity to work with our outstanding faculty and academic leadership to ensure Houghton’s ongoing academic strength,” said Connell. “Members of my family have been impacted by Houghton for four generations now, and so this return to my alma mater is a source of great personal joy and much gratitude to God. The kind of education Houghton provides is needed now more than ever, and I look forward to helping the College pursue its mission with sustained excellence and innovation.”

Prior to a career in higher education, Connell held pastoral positions for almost a decade in three churches throughout Western New York: Houghton Wesleyan Church, Houghton, N.Y.; Lyncourt Wesleyan Church, Syracuse, N.Y.; and Crosswinds Wesleyan Church, Canandaigua, N.Y.

Connell holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with minors in Bible and philosophy from Houghton College; a Master of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership and Biblical Preaching from Ashbury Theological Seminary; and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Rochester Warner School of Education, where he received the honor of Most Outstanding Doctoral Student.