Dr. Jeremy Moreland has officially taken over as the 13th president of William Woods University.
He was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Texas where he went to Texas Christian University for undergrad and graduate schools. During his second semester, he started working as a resident assistant and since then has been working at a university or college in one form or fashion.
"I've been working in or around higher education since I graduated with my PhD in 1998," Moreland said, "and as I learned about the opportunity at William Woods University, and with every additional fact, I learned that I really fell in love with the university and the community and the opportunity to help as a leader."
So far, Moreland has been impressed by the different programs William Woods has to offer.
"I am just fascinated with some of the real corner stone and crown jewel programs at the university like ASL interpreting and the equestrian program are just world class," Moreland said. "I'm just excited to join this really mission-focused university which is really key with a rock star faculty that are ready to support both an amazing undergrad experience on campus, online offering and graduate programs as well I'm so excited to join the university that really establishes itself as a leader in graduate education in particular among educators in the state of Missouri, and I suspect this has even more to offer in mo and argue even beyond."
When looking back at over 150 years of history at the university, Moreland is honored to be taking on the role as the 13th president. He believes William Woods has a legacy of teaching and learning as well as leadership, and said he is honored to be following in the footsteps of Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett.
"I can tell you that I am in awe of her legacy at this institution," Moreland said. "She has done amazing things to foster it's continued development and growth, and really led it into this century and set it up for success beyond."
As he takes over, his number one goal is to listen. He plans on having as many conversation as possible with different members within the Woods community. As he has conversations with faculty members, stakeholders, board members and more, he wants to find out what they all value about the university and then figure out where they see opportunities to build and enrich the currently opportunities the university has — and foster news ones as they arise.
"We can provide even more opportunities for our students and even with students who may not know about us yet," Moreland said. "I think William Woods University can truly continue to grow as a regional powerhouse and maybe even attract students from beyond the region as well."
Along with him on this new journey is his wife, Diane Moreland. The two met on the sidewalk in front of the psychology building at Texas Christian University and have been together for the last 18 years. After college, he followed her back to Arizona for 16 years where they had their two daughters, Maddy and Olivia. They moved to Colorado with him where he was able to follow a job opportunity as the provost and chief academic officer at the University of the Rockies, and then most recently they moved to Fulton from Miami, Florida where he was the provost and chief academic officer at St. Thomas University.
"We are really excited about making Fulton and larger central Missouri our home now," Moreland said.
Diane Moreland is a program evaluation researcher with Arizona State University School of Social Work where she does research examining the efficacy programs that help promote health, safety and wellness. She is also one of the key researchers on the nation's largest privately funded help line for child abuse prevention interventions.
The family is excited for this new journey and are looking forward to finding and participating in local celebrations, and Moreland, himself, is looking forward to finding ways to have students and faculty participate as well.
"I can't wait to meet everyone," Moreland said. "I'm of course going to be on campus a lot, but I'm also going to be hitting the road and getting out to get the word out about William Woods University, and introduce myself to people who haven't had a chance to find their way to the campus and make sure everyone knows about the great opportunities we have."
For more information about William Woods University or to contact Dr. Jeremy Moreland, visit https://www.williamwoods.edu/.