Dr. David W. Wilson Senior Consultant
Dr. David Wilson has 34 years of higher education experience, including 18 years in administrative roles. Prior to joining Harris Search Associates, he served as President of Northwest Christian University (NCU) in Eugene, Oregon.
During the six years of Dr. Wilson’s leadership, NCU changed its name (from Northwest Christian College); increased minority student representation, student retention, and enrollment; added numerous new academic programs; increased the percentage of full-time faculty with doctoral degrees; expanded the number of campus buildings; added new campus signage; enhanced its international focus along with its expanded presence in the local community; instituted a more comprehensive Board of Trustees committee structure; and expanded the athletic program, including membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Cascade Collegiate Conference. Dr. Wilson led the university in the development of a new strategic plan that included new vision, mission, and values statements along with an updated campus master plan. He also spearheaded the development of a Center for Leadership and Ethics and a Trustee Lecture Series on Leadership and Ethics.
Prior to his service at Northwest Christian University, Dr. Wilson spent 16 years at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri where he moved from full-time teaching to a series of progressing administrative roles, including division chair, dean of student development, and vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. While at Culver-Stockton, Dr. Wilson led a campus-wide program of assessing institutional effectiveness, helped guide the college through a successful regional accreditation visit, forged strong links between academic affairs and student life, and served as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
A social psychologist, Dr. Wilson has published and presented widely on a number of topics, including racism, aggression, and helping behavior. He is the co-author of a general psychology textbook, and he and his wife, Ruth Ann, have published a series of middle-school books on topics ranging from listening and study skills to science writing and positive values. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Ohio State University and also held teaching positions at Texas A&M University and Phillips University in Oklahoma. Dr. Wilson earned a B.S. in psychology from Kansas State University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University. He was honored for his teaching and campus leadership at both Phillips University and Culver-Stockton College.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Wilson has been directly involved in numerous academic searches, including those for president; vice president (e.g., academic affairs, advancement, finance and administration); dean (e.g., student development); director (e.g., enrollment services, marketing and public relations, human resources); and special assistant to the president for institutional research and assessment. He also chaired the search for the Commissioner of the Cascade Collegiate Conference (NAIA).