March 8, 2016
Wheaton College President Dr. Philip Graham Ryken is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Margaret DuPlissis Diddams ’83 as Provost of Wheaton College (Ill.).
Diddams will be responsible to the President for all aspects of the academic division of the College, which in addition to the faculty includes Admissions, the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, Global and Experiential Learning, Institutional Research and Academic Support, and the Library and Archives. In addition to her role as a member of the Senior Administrative Cabinet, Diddams will hold faculty status as Professor of Psychology.
Diddams graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She earned a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from New York University in 1988, where she also completed a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in 1994. She currently serves as Assistant Provost at Seattle Pacific University.
Diddams started her academic career as instructor and program coordinator in the Social-Organizational Psychology Department at Columbia University before joining the faculty at Seattle Pacific University in 1993. In addition to her academic work, Diddams has worked as a Senior Manager in Strategic Services at Microsoft Corporation and founded DuPlissis & Diddams Associates, a consulting practice specializing in survey research, organizational development and executive coaching.
After a brief period as a stay-at-home parent, Diddams returned to Seattle Pacific University in 2000, where she taught and provided leadership for graduate as well as undergraduate education. Her colleagues elected her to serve as the Chair of Faculty Governance during the 2009-2010 academic year after which she joined the SPU administration in 2010.
Diddams and her husband, Stan ’82, have four adult children: Michael, Marjorie, S. Scott and James. The Diddams are longtime members of the Free Methodist denomination, and Dr. Diddams was a multi-term board member of Urban Impact Seattle, the denomination’s community development organization.
“Dr. Margaret Diddams is a seasoned educator who is passionate about the liberal arts and the life of faith in Jesus Christ, with broad interests across the disciplines,” Ryken says. “She has earned respect across her campus for her wise, relational leadership, and comes to Wheaton with a strong calling to expand its role as a leader in Christian higher education, in the church, and in society.”
“I fell in love with Wheaton College in 1978 when I arrived on campus for my interview and saw the motto, ‘For Christ and His Kingdom,’” Diddams says. “At Wheaton, I learned that a robust Christian education grounded in the liberal arts creates networks of knowledge, faith and experience to transform individuals in preparation to serve others. Building on that foundation, I view scholarship and learning as a form of faithfulness and worship.”
“As a professor, I have created a faithful and authentic dialogue between Christianity and my field while inviting my students to take part,” Diddams adds. “In my career as an administrator, I have created structures to strengthen that work for others. I am ready to come home to Wheaton to serve and give back to an institution that has always been precious to me.”
Diddams succeeds Dr. Stanton Jones, who announced last year that he will step down as Provost and return to teaching at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year. Jones joined the Wheaton College faculty in 1981 and was appointed Provost in 1996.
Diddams will begin on June 1. Wheaton College is grateful for the work of CarterBaldwin Executive Search, which assisted in the process of researching candidates.
Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.) is a coeducational Christian liberal arts college noted for its rigorous academics, integration of faith and learning, and consistent ranking among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. For more information, visit wheaton.edu.