Mark Heckler is entering his 11th year of service as the 18th president of Valparaiso University. A dedicated educator with nearly 40 years of experience as a professor and administrator, President Heckler has led comprehensive strategic and master planning efforts resulting in significant campus program expansion and construction.
In addition to new academic programs including physician’s assistant studies, bioengineering, business analytics, cyber security, and data science, the University has refocused and revitalized the University’s mission and ministry programs and renovated and expanded the campus’ signature Chapel of the Resurrection. During President Heckler’s tenure, the University also created its renowned Institute for Leadership and Service, placing the work of mission and ministry at its core.
President Heckler has championed the unique capability of Valparaiso University to gather people of different backgrounds and beliefs in dialogue with one another and in the common pursuit of truth. President Heckler participates actively on numerous national and regional higher education boards and commissions, including stints as chair of the board of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Indiana Campus Compact, the New American Colleges and Universities, and One Region of Northwest Indiana. In addition to these boards, President Heckler is also currently a member of the board of the national Council of Independent Colleges, the NCAA Division I Missouri Valley Athletic Conference, the Pioneer Football League, and the national Private College 529 Plan.
President 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 with an emphasis in directing at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and earned his B.A. in communications summa cum laude at Elizabethtown College (PA). President Heckler and his wife, Veronica, grew up together in Windber, Pennsylvania. The Hecklers are parents of four children and the grandparents of nine grandchildren.