Indiana Wesleyan University announced that Jonathan Kulaga, Ph.D., a highly accomplished senior leader and lifelong advocate for Christian higher education, will become the 10th president of Indiana Wesleyan University on August 8, 2022.
The Board of Trustees selected Kulaga from an impressive pool of candidates after considering his distinguished 34-year career in higher education, visionary leadership, stellar strategic planning, expertise in advancement, focus on innovation, and commitment to growing a Christ-centered university. His appointment follows a comprehensive, nationwide search by the Presidential Search Committee that included trustees, faculty, and staff.
Kulaga comes to IWU after spending five successful years as President and CEO of Ohio Christian University. During his leadership at OCU, he decreased institutional debt, increased student retention to its highest levels in the school’s history, raised the percentage of campus faculty terminal degrees to 92%, increased the racial and ethnic diversity of the faculty and administration, and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to a Christ-centered mission and values.
“It is an honor and privilege to be selected to serve as Indiana Wesleyan University’s next president. IWU has long been the standard-bearer for innovative, academically excellent, and spiritually mature learning throughout the Wesleyan faith community,” said Dr. Jon Kulaga. “Lena and I look forward to immersing ourselves in the IWU communities, both locally and globally, as we seek to expand the University’s capacity to change lives—and as a result—change the world.”
Kulaga has also distinguished himself while serving in various executive and leadership roles, including Chief Academic Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Asbury University, and in academics, advancement, and student life development roles at Spring Arbor University. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Educational Administration from Kansas State University, a Master of Arts in College and University Administration from Michigan State University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Contemporary Ministry from Spring Arbor University.
In addition, Kulaga has received many awards and accolades throughout his career, including the Kentucky Colonel Award, a Gubernatorial Honor, Gardner Endowed Professor for the Promotion of Holiness at Asbury University, and a Summer Wesley Studies Visiting Scholar at the Manchester Wesleyan Research Center in Didsbury, UK.
“I am pleased and excited to welcome Dr. Kulaga to the Indiana Wesleyan Community,” said Carl Shepherd, the Chairman of the IWU Board of Trustees. “I look forward to how he will use his leadership experience and unwavering commitment to Christian Higher Education to impact Indiana Wesleyan University. I am confident that IWU has found a strong, passionate, God-seeking leader who will intentionally guide our faculty, staff, and students to follow Jesus.”
The President of IWU serves as the chief administrative officer of the university, which includes IWU-Marion, a 2,600-student campus located in Marion, Indiana; IWU-National & Global Campus, serving nearly 6,800 students through its 11 regional education centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, and online campus with students who come from more than 30 countries; and Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, serving 535 students and preparing Christian leaders to engage in ministry locally and around the globe.
Kulaga will succeed Dr. David Wright, who faithfully served the university in various leadership roles over the past 25 years, spending the last ten years as President of the University.