Southern Wesleyan University announces Dr. Voss as new president as of July 1
Southern Wesleyan University’s board of trustees unanimously voted to approve Dr. Todd Voss to become the 18th president of the institution.
Dr. Voss will take office on July 1, according to university board chairman Dr. Charles Joiner, who also led the presidential search committee.
“We are very pleased with this result,” Joiner said of the search committee’s work. “I can assure you that the process was undertaken in a very prayerful way.”
Joiner characterized Voss as exacting, energetic, charismatic and a proven leader.
“Dr. Voss brings excellent experience in Christian higher education to us,” Joiner said. “We’re pleased to have him join our team.”
Voss addressed the university community at a press conference on May 27, fielding questions and outlining some of his plans for Southern Wesleyan University. He expressed gratitude to retiring president Dr. David Spittal for positioning the university for success and prosperity.
“Dr. Spittal has had 17 years of amazing success here,” Voss said. “It is a very promising future. I am excited about that.”
Voss said he believes that a university president’s role is to cast a vision and provide enthusiasm and drive for a university.
“This place is ready to go. God really wants this place to be a place of excellence,” he said.
Some specific areas Voss said he plans to focus on include possible renovations or improvements to student housing on the university’s campus in Central and the possibilities of a new recreation and wellness complex, as well as a new science building.
“We’re about mind, body and spirit,” Voss said.
Voss also said he is interested in exploring more use of online classes and the possibility of adding Southern Wesleyan University locations in nearby states. Currently, the university offers classes at its main campus in Central, S.C., as well as Greenville, Spartanburg, Greenwood, Columbia, North Augusta and Charleston.
Characterizing Southern Wesleyan University as “unapologetically Christian,” Voss said the university seeks to nurture the minds as well as the spirits and the hearts of its students, with an emphasis on faith, character and integrity.
“It’s not about recruiting every student. It’s about recruiting students who are looking for this experience,” Voss said. “We have a lot to offer.”
Voss has been serving as executive vice president at Indiana Wesleyan University. His areas of leadership include student life, spiritual life, information technology, athletics, operations, construction, campus planning and other related functions.
He began working at IWU in 1989 as vice president for student development with previous experience in student life, business affairs, auxiliary services and campus planning from West Virginia University, Western Michigan University and Michigan State. Voss’s interest in generational studies has been ongoing for more than two decades.
Voss has a strong leaning toward growth, both qualitative and quantitative, and has been on the forefront of IWU growing from a small campus to one of the largest institutions in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, with almost 16,000 students enrolled. He created the Center for Life Calling and Leadership, designed a holistic residence life and student development ministry that has become a strong model for other Christian colleges, developed collaborative on-campus student internship sites and has built solid systems to encourage a robust sense of community and spiritual life on the IWU campus.
In addition, Voss was the key conceptual designer of the 200,000-square-foot student center and other critical buildings on the IWU campus, all with an eye to meeting students’ needs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine/psychology, his master’s in counseling and his doctorate in counseling/higher education administration.
Voss and his wife, Julie, have two married children, Emily and Matthew, and one grandchild, Luke.
A strong believer in developing close ties with the community, Voss said he and his wife are impressed with the friendliness of the community members they have met.
“The warmth of Central and the people of this area – wow! They are so welcoming,” Voss said.