Daniel J. Ennis, PH.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Coastal Carolina University
At Coastal Carolina University I have served in a series of leadership positions, including:
Trained in British literature, I have written and edited texts on the London stage and English poetry. Most recently, I have been developing projects that deal with the British post-colonial legacy in the arts, particularly in West Africa. I have also published and presented on broader topics in higher education, including study abroad, assessment, and curriculum development.
Despite holding administrative posts, I remain engaged in the classroom. Continued and frequent contact with students has allowed me to connect administrative work with student needs. Over the years I've taught English classes from introductory composition to graduate seminars. Most recently, I have taught in my institution's first-year experience program.
As Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Coastal Carolina University, I worked with faculty to remake our academic structure. Our former College of Education was restructured to include the social sciences, and a year later I led a team that created a new College of Health and Human Performance.
I joined Coastal Carolina University in 1999 as an Assistant Professor of English. Two decades later I was asked to serve as Chief Academic Officer. A few months later, we were managing Covid-19:
The Athenaeum Press is an innovative publishing lab that allows students to tell stories across print and digital platforms. The press solicits regionally-relevant proposals from non-profit organizations, local citizens, and university organizations, and develops projects using collaborative student- faculty teams.
Part of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, the Management Development Program uses case studies to explore challenges facing leaders at colleges and universities, combined with expert instruction from faculty at Harvard's Graduate School of Education.
As a professor, I helped lead student trips abroad, most often to London where I taught British Literature and drama. As an administrator, I am proud to have been a key initiator of partnerships between my current university and institutions in Africa, Central Asia, Western Europe, and the Caribbean. With these agreements more of my students than ever are able to experience the transformative effects of international study.
I had the opportunity to complete a Fulbright-Hays seminar in Morocco and Tunisia, teaching and learning in an interdisciplinary group as we traveled through both countries to study religious diversity in the Maghreb.
The development of new degree programs is the work of many hands, but since I have been dean my college has entered a period of rapid curricular development, with new undergraduate degrees in Digital Culture and Design, Art History, Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Anthropology/Geography. We have also developed new graduate degrees in Liberal Studies, Music Technology, and Communication.
Through an active interventions and cross-departmental initiatives that coordinate the efforts of faculty, academic advisors, and administrative staff, as Dean my college enjoyed unprecedented growth, with a 27% increase in the number of majors and university-leading rates of student retention. As Provost, I reorganized academic advising and coaching in order to increase first-year retention.