Wittenberg University welcomed Dr. Laurie M. Joyner as its 14th president on July 1, 2012.
Key objectives during her first year have included: transitioning to the Wittenberg and Springfield communities; developing a leadership team; integrating functional areas via hybrid positions spanning admission, marketing, and advancement; launching an Innovation Task Force focused on revenue generation and an Integrated Planning and Budgeting Committee; preparing for a comprehensive campaign; and working toward a sustainable financial model.
Institutional accomplishments in 2012-13 include: initiating a $6.5 million technology upgrade plan; securing a pledge for half the cost of a new indoor athletic facility (estimated at $7-10 million); approving new Nursing and Criminology/Criminal Justice Completion Programs and starting an intensive Maymester summer term; upgrading the university website; starting a community-based Math Academy; delivering $4.6 million in cost-cutting measures over the next four years to the Board at its May meeting; and tracking to meet Fall 2013 first-year enrollment and budget goals.
Prior to joining Wittenberg, Joyner served in a number of senior administrative positions at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida including: Vice President for Planning and Dean of the College (chief student affairs officer, athletics, and institutional planning and budgeting); Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (chief academic officer with oversight of over 400 faculty and staff members and an operating budget of close to $50 million); and Dean of the Faculty (faculty hiring and evaluation; curricular and co-curricular planning and assessment; high-impact practices and student support services) and Professor of Sociology.
Joyner also served in a variety of positions at Loyola University New Orleans including faculty leadership roles on the Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee of the Board and Senate Executive Council, and administrative roles such as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Joyner graduated magna cum laude and received the Dux Sociologicus Award from Loyola University New Orleans. She earned masters and doctoral degrees in sociology from Tulane University. In 2011, she participated in the year-long Executive Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and American Academic Leadership Institute. In addition, she has completed the Wellesley College Management Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, the Bryn Mawr Higher Education Summer Institute, the Harvard Institute for New Presidents, and the Association of Governing Boards’ Aspen Institute for New Presidents and Board Chairs.
Joyner’s campus and community leadership has been recognized numerous times, including with the Lucy Cross Award for her vision and leadership at Rollins College. At Loyola, Joyner received the Twomey Award for successfully integrating the efforts of academic and student affairs to enhance student success. She has also been recognized by both Rollins College and Loyola University New Orleans for her leadership in institutionalizing service-learning and community-based research across both campuses. She was selected as a member of The Power Generation, one of the New Orleans CityBusiness top 40 people under the age of 40 to watch for the impact of her engaged scholarship on public education. Throughout her academic and administrative career, a consistent priority has been linking the academy to diverse communities in ways that deepen student and faculty learning while addressing pressing social issues.
Since joining Wittenberg, Joyner has been invited to serve on the board of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and is also a member of the Springfield Rotary and The Wittenberg Guild.
She and her husband, Jay, have three children, Jay, Alexander, and Christopher.