News Releases


Dr. Wagner, the College’s current V.P. of Academic Affairs, will replace the retiring Dr. C. Ben Wright in July 2009.

MINNEAPOLIS, DEC. 1, 2008 — Richard J. Wagner, Ph.D., Dunwoody College of Technology’s vice president of academic affairs, has been named to succeed the retiring C. Ben Wright, Ph.D., as Dunwoody president. Dr. Wagner will assume his new duties on July 1, 2009.

“Dunwoody has a great heritage and an incredibly bright future,” said Dr. Wagner. “I’m truly honored to be our next president as we continue to build on the outstanding work done by Ben Wright, the board of trustees and the College’s faculty and staff.”

The appointment follows a nationwide search conducted by the College after Dr. Wright informed the Dunwoody board of his decision to resign as president effective June 30, 2009. As president, Dr. Wagner will report directly to the board and will assume responsibility for the academic, operational and financial administration of the College.

Gary Petersen, chair of Dunwoody’s board of trustees, said, “We were very fortunate to have had such an outstanding internal candidate in Rich Wagner. Rich has a deep appreciation for what makes Dunwoody a great institution today but he’s also proven to be an innovative, thoughtful leader who is clearly focused on how Dunwoody can best serve students and employers in the years ahead. The board is enthusiastic about this appointment and believes Rich is uniquely qualified to lead the College as we enter into a period that will be both exciting and challenging.”

Dr. Wagner has served Dunwoody in several academic leadership positions since joining Dunwoody in 1996 as an instructor. He left the classroom in 1999 to assume the role of department director and was promoted to dean of learning in 2001. In 2004, Dr. Wagner left Dunwoody to serve as vice president for learning and academic innovation at Hennepin Technical College. He returned to Dunwoody the following year to accept the post of vice president of academic affairs.

During Dr. Wagner’s tenure as Dunwoody’s chief academic officer, the College added its first bachelor’s degree program, added programs that include interior design, graphic design and construction supervision, and developed a new cluster of health sciences programs that will launch in 2009. He also spearheaded the College’s participation in the Academic Quality Improvement Program which resulted in the reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. This quality initiative also created a process for monitoring and ensuring the long-term viability of bedrock Dunwoody programs in academic areas that include automotive, construction and manufacturing technology.

Dr. Wagner’s doctorate is in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota. He holds a master in business administration degree from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and a bachelor of science degree from the University of the State of New York in Albany. Prior to entering higher education, Dr. Wagner served 10 years in the United States Navy, including four years as an electrician/technical supervisor on a nuclear submarine before becoming a Navy instructor.

Dr. Wagner, a native of Emmaus, Pa., resides in Waconia, Minn., with his wife, Valerie Wagner. Their son Josh is currently on active duty in the United States Navy.