The Board of Directors of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind., has selected Mark A. Heckler, 52, of Littleton, Colo., as the independent Lutheran university’s next president, succeeding Dr. Alan F. Harre, who is set to retire June 30.
Heckler, 52, is provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Colorado (UC), Denver. He is a member of an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Littleton.
Harre was president of Concordia College, St. Paul, Minn., when he was named Valparaiso’s president in 1988.
Heckler has been at UC Denver since 1995, when he joined the faculty as a tenured professor of theatre and director of the School of Arts. That school was expanded and renamed the College of Arts and Media, with Heckler becoming its founding dean in 1998. He held that post until 2003, when he served a brief period as the university’s acting chancellor before appointment to his present position. He also served two years as administrator of an undergraduate liberal arts degree-granting program in Beijing jointly operated by UC Denver and a Chinese university.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Elizabethtown (Pa.) College in 1977 and a master of arts degree in drama with an emphasis on directing from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., in 1979.
A news release from Valparaiso University states that Heckler is “nearing completion of a doctorate in educational leadership and innovation from the University of Colorado.”
The release quotes Heckler, as follows:
“It is vitally important that future generations continue to have the opportunity for an outstanding education in a faith-based environment that fosters discovery and creativity. I believe Valparaiso University has a greater leadership role to play, nationally and internationally, in ensuring access to excellent, faith-based undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. Valpo is the right place for me and I am excited about becoming a part of this outstanding university.”
Heckler and his wife, Veronica, are the parents of four grown children.
Posted Jan. 22, 2008