OUKS Introduces New President

Posted by Janae Melvin on August 6, 2018 in Ottawa, OUKS, Reggies, University, Wenyika 2018-reggies-wenyika003.jpg

The residential campus in Ottawa has a new leader. On Friday, June 15, Chancellor Kevin Eichner announced that Dr. Reggies Wenyika had been hired as the new president OUKS. Wenyika assumed his official duties on July 16.
“I cannot think of anyone more qualified or committed to leading the OUKS campus and continue the growth we have experienced here in Ottawa over the past five years,” said Eichner. “I am confident in his ability to address new markets and new program opportunities working alongside our stellar faculty and staff. I have no doubt he will inspire our students and be a respected leader on campus.”
His responsibilities will include leading the former Provost’s Council in all facets of the OUKS campus including academic affairs, athletics, enrollment, student affairs, fundraising, and advising.
“I am truly honored to be selected and look forward to this leadership role in Ottawa University’s history,” said Wenyika. “To the Ottawa University family and community, I ask for your help in moving our beloved and historic university forward. We have a story to tell: let’s make Ottawa known regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Wenyika comes to OU from Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla., where he has served as University president since 2014. Before that, he was provost and vice-president of academic affairs at SCU from 2008 to 2014. A native of Zimbabwe, he moved to the United States with his wife Dr. Bongi Wenyika and his two children Thembi and Kudzai in 2000 and has worked in higher education since arriving in the US.
“Dr. Wenyika has an amazing presence and will bring a growth mindset with him to the job,” Eichner said. “His experience in higher education along with his immense and deep faith resonate with the mission and values of Ottawa University. We look forward to introducing the Wenyika family to the Ottawa community, both on and off campus.”
He attended St. Ignatius College in Zimbabwe where he earned his Ordinary Level General Certificate of Education and Advanced Level Certificate of Education through the University of Cambridge. He received a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from the College of Health and Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe and also received a Diploma in Ministerial Studies and a Bachelor of Religious Arts in Biblical Studies. Wenyika has a Master of Ministry in Leadership from Southwestern Christian University, Master of Arts in Education Administration and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Oral Roberts University. He is currently working on his second doctorate degree, a Ph.D. in Theology.

Wenyika maintains multi-disciplinary scholarly interests that range from education, behavioral sciences, theology, and the health sciences. He co-edited, Engaging Our World: Christian Worldview from the Ivory Tower to Global Impact; co-authored, Strictly Business: Soft Skills to Help You Succeed in The Hard World of Business (2nd Ed.). He has presented papers at various scholarly societies and co-published in such journals as The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, Child Abuse Review, and The Journal of Public Health. He was also a contributor to the 2017 textbook, Child Maltreatment in Residential Care: History, Research, and Current Practice.

“Dr. Reggies is a devoted Christian and an ordained minister,” said Eichner. He grew up influenced through an interesting gestalt of the Jesuit and Baptist traditions, is a truly gifted orator, a former college provost and chief academic officer, an HLC reviewer, a fundraiser, and a person who has grown a campus from next to nothing to nearly four times its size from the time when he became provost and then president.”
Wenyika was one of three finalists for the position that met with faculty, staff, board of trustees members, and members of the Ottawa community. The presidential search began in February when a new leadership model was announced at OU.
“As a duty to our heritage, and in honor of those whose toil has brought us to this point, Ottawa will continue to be a success-oriented caring, inclusive community that welcomes students from all walks of life to be prepared holistically for a life of significance through rigorous academics and vibrant campus and student life programs,” said Wenyika. Ottawa University is truly an “honorable place.”