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Harris-Stowe Names Dwaun Warmack New President

Harris-Stowe State University President Dwuan Warmack.
Harris-Stowe State University

Updated at 8:25 am Wednesday to correct the name of the institution where Warmack currently works. It is Bethune-Cookman University.

Harris-Stowe State University Tuesday announced the selection of Dwaun Warmack, a senior vice president at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., as its new president.

Warmack will succeed Albert Walker, who served as president for just two years after the lengthy tenure of Henry Givens as head of the university. Walker’s departure was announced just before the beginning of the current school year. Constance Gully has served as interim president since that time.

Warmack, who was chosen after a nationwide search, begins his new job July 14.

In a statement released by the university, he said he was looking forward to helping Harris-Stowe “move forward confidently and vigorously.”

“I am eager to work with the Harris-Stowe and St. Louis communities to strengthen recruitment and graduation rates, enhance alumni and community engagement, and position the university as a significant asset in a growing, thriving region,” the statement added.

“I have a special interest in improving the educational attainment of African-American males, but I am also committed to Harris-Stowe being a beacon of opportunity for all students.”

Thelma Cook, who chairs the university’s board of regents, said those in charge of the search for a new president “were impressed with Dr. Warmack’s strong record of collaboration and his ability to work with various university constituencies. We are confident he will build on the strong foundation at Harris-Stowe to create and achieve the excellence that our students and community deserve.”

She added: “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Warmack to Harris-Stowe and believe his energy and vision will accelerate the university’s commitment to student success. His passion and long-range vision are just what the university needs at this time. We look forward to working with Dr. Warmack to build a strong future for Harris-Stowe.”

He will take over as president at a time when faculty unhappiness has been growing. The regents voted earlier this year to impose a contract on professors after declaring that negotiations had hit an impasse. Earlier, faculty members had voted to form the first collective bargaining unit at a public college or university in Missouri.

Brian Elsesser, who will be serving as the new president of the National Education Association unit, told St. Louis Public Radio he had met Warmack during his visit to the Harris-Stowe campus and told him of concerns about the top-heavy administration of the school.

Elsesser said Warmack made a good impression during his visit to the campus.

The statement from Harris-Stowe said that in 2010, Warmack was made the youngest vice president in Bethune-Cookman's history at the age of 33.

Before joining that school, he held administrative positions at Rhodes College, Western Carolina University and Delta State University. He holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016.