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McDorman Named Dean of the College

Dr. Todd McDorman, who came to Wabash in the Rhetoric Department in 1998, has been appointed Dean of the College by President Scott Feller. McDorman, who has served as Acting Dean for the last two years, will begin his tenure on July 1.

“Todd’s thoughtful leadership shined brightly during the interview process,” said President Feller. “While many of us on campus have constantly focused on keeping the campus healthy, he continued to expand our academic footprint, coordinated operational improvements, and worked closely with his faculty colleagues on personnel reviews, Student Learning Outcomes, and implementation of the ‘Restoring Hope, Restoring Trust’ grant from Lilly Endowment.”

A native of Kokomo, Indiana, McDorman earned his undergraduate degree from Butler University, a master’s degree from Miami University, and his Ph.D. in rhetorical studies from Indiana University. He came to Wabash in 1998 and rose to full professor in 2013.

Dr. Todd McDormanOver the course of his career, McDorman served as chair of Rhetoric Department; was the lead writer of Wabash’s successful 2012 reaccreditation self-study; served as faculty visitor to the Board of Trustees and on the Board’s Strategy Committee; chaired the Undergraduate Research Committee, Freshman Tutorial Program, Pre-Law Committee, and Committee for Institutional Improvement; and was Senior Associate Dean of the College from 2014 to 2018.

As Acting Dean of the College over the last two years, McDorman has led the College’s Personnel Committee, which oversees faculty hiring and reviews, and chairs the Academic Policy Committee. Under his leadership, Wabash launched its first ever summer classes for course recovery aimed at some of the College’s most vulnerable students, and ushered Wabash into the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC) Online Course Sharing Consortium.

“I am honored and grateful for this opportunity to lead the academic program,” McDorman said. “What we have been able to accomplish together the past two years has affirmed my long-held confidence in Wabash as an institution and a community, and has energized me to pursue the work ahead in achieving our considerable goals.”

"The search for the Dean of the College generated a diverse pool of interesting and talented candidates," said Dr. Wally Novak, who chaired the 11-member search committee. "It was incredibly helpful to the discernment process to be able to bring our top candidates to Wabash to engage the faculty and senior staff. We are delighted to have Todd serve as our next Dean of the College. Todd’s recent experience and dedication to Wabash will no doubt serve us well in the coming years."

As a member of the Healthy Campus Task Force, McDorman led efforts to keep the academic program on track during the COVID-19 pandemic, including making modifications to instruction, the academic calendar, comprehensive exams, course delivery, and classroom set-ups.McDorman, a Professor of Rhetoric, came to Wabash in 1998.

McDorman was one of 30 applicants selected for the CIC/American Academic Leadership Institute’s Senior Leadership Academy, and he was the lead scholar at the 43rd Annual National Undergraduate Honors Conference at DePauw University. At Wabash, he received the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholar Award, the Richard O. Ristine Law Award, and gave the 34th Annual LaFollette Lecture in the Humanities.

He has also co-authored two books with his Wabash faculty colleagues, Rhetoric and Democracy: Pedagogical Political Practices (with David Timmerman, 2008) and Public Speaking and Democratic Participation: Speaking, Listening, and Deliberating in the Civic Realm (with Jennifer Abbott, David Timmerman, and L. Jill Lamberton, 2016). He has also done extensive research and scholarship on baseball, Pete Rose, and the rhetoric of apologia. He has published a number of journal articles and book chapters on the subject, and has presented at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

“Wabash College is a special place,” McDorman added. “I have been fortunate to make Wabash my academic home for more than 20 years and I am dedicated to the success of the institution and our people. I look forward to continuing to work with President Feller and the faculty, staff, and students as we strive to make Wabash even better.”