After nearly a yearlong, nationwide search, APU announces the appointment of Dr. Xavier Whitaker to the role of Dean of Students, beginning November 2. The Dean of Students advances a challenging and supportive co-curricular environment within APU’s diverse community and culture. Dr. Whitaker will oversee key areas of student engagement, including Campus Life, Commuter Life, Graduate and Professional Student Engagement, International Students and Scholars, Judicial Affairs/Title IX, and Residence Life.
Dr. Whitaker served as the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at the University of West Georgia from 2015-19. During the past year, he also served as the Interim Vice President, Chief of Staff, and Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to help guide UWG through a Presidential transition and support the student life experience.
Before UWG, he received the Eyes of Texas and Staff Excellence awards given to outstanding faculty and staff for exemplary service at the University of Texas at Austin. Other executive leadership and collaborative management positions served in higher education include being a Chief Student Affairs Officer, member of the President’s Cabinet, Senior Dean’s Advisor, Director of Campus Life, Assistant Director for Leadership Initiatives, and Coordinator of Student Activities.
Dr. Whitaker has teaching experience at both the University of Texas at Austin and Baylor University, where he served as chair of Leadership Development for student leadership initiatives. His doctoral research focuses on the role of psychological, cognitive, and behavioral factors in the academic success of students at a large research university ranked among the top five percent of accredited engineering schools in the United States. He has served on behalf of students, faculty, staff, and alumni in higher education for more than 25 years.
Dr. Whitaker earned a B.S. in Education from Southwestern College, M.A. in Christian Leadership from Friends University, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Azusa Pacific University.