Elmhurst Names New Vice President for Academic Affairs

January 10, 2017 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst College announced today that April Edwards will join the College to serve as its vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.

Selected after a nationwide search, Edwards currently is the interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of Ursinus College, a selective liberal arts college in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. She will begin her new position at Elmhurst College in June.

“Elmhurst has an outstanding reputation for the strength of its academic programs—everything from Nursing to English to the ELSA program,” Edwards said. “There is a solid foundation upon which to continue building, and I look forward to working with the faculty to provide the best educational experience for our students—an education that is grounded in the liberal arts and that also provides professional education to students as they pursue their career goals.”

“Dr. Edwards’ commitment to academic excellence and student success is tightly aligned with Elmhurst’s core values,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “I also am impressed with her desire and ability to secure resources that will support and enhance faculty scholarship and innovation. She will be a strong addition to our senior leadership team as the College anticipates its Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan and other milestones.”

Edwards brings a wealth of experience to the position, having spent the last 13 years in a variety of academic and administrative leadership roles at Ursinus. She chaired the Faculty Governance Committee for more than seven years, and served as faculty liaison to the Board of Trustees and as a representative on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. Before joining Ursinus, Edwards worked for more than a decade for Electronic Data Systems, an information technology consulting company.

As founding co-director of the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies, Edwards conceptualized the center, guided it through the college’s approval process and developed and managed Center programs, which are focused on the development of an entrepreneurial mindset in students from all majors and at all levels.

A professor of mathematics and computer science, Edwards is an internationally recognized researcher in data science and has taught a variety of courses in computer science, including database design, data mining and artificial intelligence.

“The positive energy and excitement I felt from everyone—faculty, staff, students, trustees, administrators—during my campus visit really convinced me that Elmhurst has a wonderful legacy and also is poised for the next step,” Edwards said. “To be a part of the Elmhurst community as we approach its sesquicentennial is a great opportunity, and I’m eager to work with everyone to continue to move Elmhurst forward.”

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