The Board of Directors for Valparaiso University has entered into a new five-year contract with President Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., which will extend his term of office through June 30, 2021. This timing coincides with the University’s recently announced endowment campaign, Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future. Heckler has served as the 18th president of Valparaiso University since 2008.

Frederick G. Kraegel, chairman of the board of directors, said the contract extension ensures the continued trajectory of growth and stability the University has experienced under Heckler’s leadership.

“President Heckler has led Valparaiso University’s enrollment growth, new program development, campus expansion, and the implementation of the most comprehensive and ambitious strategic plan in Valpo’s history,” Kraegel said. “We are extremely fortunate to have Mark at the helm as the University has launched an endowment campaign to secure its future.”

Before coming to Valparaiso University, Heckler served the University of Colorado Denver for more than a decade, most recently as provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the three-campus university, including its health sciences center. Prior to moving to Denver, he was professor of fine arts and director of theatre at Siena (N.Y.) College, where he directed, acted in, designed, and/or produced more than 100 academic and professional productions. He is also a past president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and founder and co-director of its Leadership Institute. Heckler participates actively on numerous national and regional higher education boards and commissions, including previously serving as the chair of the board of Independent Colleges of Indiana and Indiana Campus Compact; former board chair of the New American Colleges and Universities; and member of the board of the Private College 529 Plan, the NCAA Division I Horizon League, and the NCAA Pioneer League for non-scholarship football.

Heckler earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and innovation from the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado. He completed his MFA in drama with an emphasis in directing at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and earned his B.A. in communications summa cum laude at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.

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