David Arnold


J. David Arnold, Ph.D., is President Emeritus of Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois.  During his presidential tenure at Eureka, the College created a strategic plan entitled “Growth with Integrity” achieving record enrollments and balancing budgets while reducing tuition/tuition discount and increasing net tuition revenue; launching $30M in campus improvements, including the construction of a new residence hall (Arnold Hall) and a new science building (Sanders Hall); nearly doubling the endowment; setting fundraising records including doubling the percentage of alumni giving; and expanding resources for faculty development.  Other achievements include creating new programs such as a visiting scholar, artist, and executive in residence programs, a new organizational leadership program to attract non-traditional students, a new program to support first generation students (60% of Eureka freshmen are first in their families to attend college), and a new first year program that evolved from participation in the Foundation of Excellence Program.  The campus was designated a National Historic District for its importance in American history—Eureka graduated 42 college presidents, seven governors and members of Congress, and the 40th President of the United States.  Building on this legacy of producing servant leaders, a Reagan Forward initiative was implemented to focus on the interrelationships between liberal arts, leadership and service, incorporating a national academic conference and hosting dozens of guest lectures on servant leadership, including campus convocation presentations by Mikhail Gorbachev and Sandra Day O’Connor.  Today, Eureka’s mission continues to emphasize the mutual development of intellect and character consistent with its founding denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).


Dr. Arnold formerly was vice president for academic and student affairs at Missouri Western State University. He also served as provost at St. John Fisher College and as a dean and grants officer at Clarion University. He started his academic career teaching psychology and writing at St. Lawrence University, a residential liberal arts college where he was tenured and promoted before becoming an associate dean. As an academic leader and author, Dr. Arnold has focused on forging connections between the curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular spheres of students’ experience in learning communities, engaging faculty in strategic planning, and promoting the “teacher-scholar” model of faculty professional development at liberal arts institutions.    

A native of Lancaster, Pa., and the first in his family to graduate from college, Dr. Arnold completed his undergraduate degree in psychology with honors at Bloomsburg University (formerly Bloomsburg State College), graduate work in social psychology at the University of New Hampshire, and summer post-doctoral study at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. A self-described movie buff and nature enthusiast, Dave and his wife Katherine (Kat) have three grown children and three granddaughters. Dave and Kat live near the Eastern foothills of the Great Smokies in Upstate South Carolina.

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