Ottawa University’s local campus is under new leadership.
OU Chancellor Kevin Eichner announced Friday Dr. Reggies Wenyika will be president of the residential campus in Ottawa. Wenyika was officially introduced at the Board of Trustees meeting Friday morning. He will assume his new duties July 16.
Wenyika comes to Ottawa from Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Oklahoma, where he served as university president since 2014. Before that, Wenyika was provost and vice-president of academic affairs at SCU from 2008 to 2014. A native of Zimbabwe, he moved to the United States with his wife, Dr. Bongi Wenyika, and his two children, Thembi and Kudzai, in 2000 and has worked in higher education since arriving in the U.S.
“I cannot think of anyone more qualified or committed to leading the OUKS campus and continuing the growth we have experienced here in Ottawa over the past five years,” Eichner said. “I am confident in his ability to address new markets and new program opportunities working alongside our stellar faculty and staff. I have no doubt he will inspire our students and be a respected leader on campus.”
One of Wenyika’s goals as president is to keep the Ottawa campus moving in a positive way.
“I am truly honored to be selected and look forward to this leadership role in Ottawa University’s history,” Wenyika said. “To the Ottawa University family and community, I ask for your help in moving our beloved and historic university forward. We have a story to tell: let’s make Ottawa known regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Eichner said Wenyika brings a different perspective to Ottawa.
“Dr. Wenyika has an amazing presence and will bring a growth mindset with him to the job,” Eichner said. “His experience in higher education along with his immense and deep faith resonate with the mission and values of Ottawa University. We look forward to introducing the Wenyika family to the Ottawa community, both on and off campus.”
Wenyika was one of three finalists for the position that met with faculty, staff, board of trustees members, and members of the Ottawa community the past two weeks, OU officials said. The presidential search began in February when a new leadership model was announced, with Eichner moving from president to chancellor.
Wenyika said the Ottawa campus has a rich history of educating and preparing students to be leaders in society.
“As a duty to our heritage, and in honor of those whose toil has brought us to this point, Ottawa will continue to be a success-oriented caring, inclusive community that welcomes students from all walks of life to be prepared holistically for a life of significance through rigorous academics and vibrant campus and student life programs,” Wenyika said.
Wenyika attended St. Ignatius College in Zimbabwe where he earned his Ordinary Level General Certificate of Education and Advanced Level Certificate of Education through the University of Cambridge. He received a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from the College of Health and Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe and also received a diploma in Ministerial Studies and a Bachelor of Religious Arts in Biblical Studies. Wenyika has a Master of Ministry from Southwestern Christian University, Master of Arts in Education Administration and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Oral Roberts University. He is currently working on his second doctorate degree, majoring in Theology.