A Greensboro educator got a big honor this week: Dr. Ward Ulmer, who’s been a teacher for the past two decades and has lived in Greensboro for the past 15 years, has been named the new president of Walden University.
Walden is an accredited online worldwide university based out of Minneapolis that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and currently has students in all 50 states as well as in more than 150 countries. The school offers over 80 degree programs and is one of about 35 institutions that make up the Laureate International Universities network.
Ulmer, who’s played a leadership role at Walden for the past seven years, brings more than 20 years of experience as an educator to his new job. He has served as the chief academic officer and chief information officer for Latimer Education and has also been a senior vice provost for Strayer University in Virginia.
“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as president of this great institution,” Ulmer said after being selected.
He added that, as the university approaches its 50th anniversary next year, it’s a good time to “reflect on how much we’ve accomplished to provide a variety of educational opportunities for working professionals and have enabled the Walden community to become positive social change agents in communities worldwide.”
He said that, as president, he’s looking forward to continuing that great work.
Lee McGee, chair of the Walden University Board of Directors Governance Committee, stated that Ulmer was the right person for the job. Other board members agreed: The vote was unanimous.
“Dr. Ulmer is an outstanding leader who demonstrates his passion for Walden and the success of our students every day,” McGee stated this week. “He brings a unique blend of strong interprofessional academic credentials, outstanding operating experience and, most importantly, a powerful commitment to the university’s mission of serving working professional adults who share a passion for positive social change. We are confident that Dr. Ulmer’s knowledge, commitment and dedication to Walden—our students, alumni, faculty and staff—will strengthen our institution and ensure students’ continued success.”
In the past, Ulmer has served as Walden’s interim president and has been responsible for the “strategic direction and vision of the university and overall day-to-day management, academic quality, financial performance, accreditation and governance.”
Previously, he served as Walden’s chief learning officer and vice president of college administration, and, before that, served as the university’s associate dean in the College of Management and Technology (CMT). He has also served as the vice president of Walden’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership and CMT.
During his time at Walden, Ulmer has been known for championing the use of cutting-edge technology in education as well as for the implementation of “alternative learning options for working professionals and diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives.”
Some of those programs have included a virtual reality experience using VR headsets that are now becoming more and more popular and affordable every day.
According to a statement from the university, Ulmer has served as a “leader, practitioner, researcher and innovator in higher education.”
Ulmer received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Charleston Southern University and later a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Clemson University and Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Sciences from Walden University.
Ulmer plans to remain living in Greensboro as he carries out his new duties with Walden University.