Daniel Eck named Lakeland College's 16th president
- Published: February 3, 2014
Daniel Eck, Lakeland College's interim president for the past 10 months, has been selected as the college's 16th president.
Lakeland's Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Eck to the position on Saturday, following a unanimous recommendation from the presidential search committee.
Eck, 46, was named interim president in March 2013 following the resignation of Michael Grandillo. Eck came to Lakeland in February 2008 as a special assistant to then Lakeland President Stephen Gould, and he was named senior vice president in September of 2008.
Prior to being named interim president, he led virtually all administrative facets of the college, including finance, strategic planning, institutional research, human resources, information technology, facilities/grounds and international programs.
During his interim presidency, the college developed and adopted five goals as part of its institutional strategic plan, and work is currently underway to meet those goals.
"I am honored that the search committee and the trustees have placed their faith in me to lead this great institution," Eck said. "Lakeland College is a special place that defies easy categorization. We are an educational institution, an employer, a community resource, but most of all we represent the opportunity to do more, and to succeed.
"Regardless, the alumni I've met over the past six years, and the students, faculty and staff, all like to call Lakeland 'home.' That is the one common denominator I've been able to discern in my time here-that feeling of belonging, that sense of place. Everyone associated with Lakeland is committed to the well-being and success of our students, and I am fortunate to be part of that family."
Robert Melzer, chairman of the Lakeland Board of Trustees, said the college is fortunate to hire a leader that provides stability along with a vision that is aligned with that of the trustees.
"Higher education is facing a number of challenges, and how colleges and universities evolve will be important for their continued growth," Melzer said. "Dan has played an important role in helping design the goals of the college's strategic plan. As we come off a very successful 150th anniversary celebration, Dan understands the important next steps that will position Lakeland to deliver quality academic programs for decades to come."
John McFadden, a Lakeland trustee and chair of the Presidential Search Committee, headed a group that included four trustees and two faculty members, which is required by the college's by-laws. "This was a careful process, but we did not conduct a full national search because we believe Dan is the perfect fit for this position," McFadden said. "Dan has demonstrated, during the 10 months of his interim presidency, the ability to lead us. The search committee and the trustees have a great deal of confidence and trust in Dan."
Dr. Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) congratulated Lakeland on its selection. "Dan Eck is the right person at the right time in the right place," Wegenke said. "Dan knows Lakeland and will advance the college's long tradition of expanding educational opportunity - to low-income students, to first-generation students, to adult learners and to students from Sheboygan to Africa to Japan."
Eck's efforts have had significant impact since his arrival. He managed completion of Lakeland's $3.5 million main campus front entrance project, introduced and led an initiative that captured hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings and efficiencies and led the restructuring of several administrative departments.
"I am very pleased with the work we have accomplished at the college over the past 10 months, and I am excited to be leading the continuation of that work in my service to Lakeland's students, alumni and friends," Eck said. "I am confident that we are working with a plan that, with the energy and talents of our faculty and staff, will allow us to continue to evolve and remain competitive, yet stay true to our commitments to the liberal arts and to providing a rigorous, meaningful, educational and developmental experience."
In Eck, Lakeland has a dynamic leader with an eclectic professional background. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Law, he spent several years at a major law firm in Chicago. He then worked for five years in the museum field, serving as associate general counsel at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and deputy director of administration at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan.
Prior to joining Lakeland, he was director of development and external relations at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and he co-founded M12, a nonprofit that designs and implements public art projects.
He has a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Beloit College and studied at American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Eck lives in Sheboygan with his two children, Gaby, 16, and Sam, 14, and his wife, Christine.