Ken Mulliken

Marian University has named Dr. Ken Mulliken as its next Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 15, 2021.

“The size and location of Marian University are very appealing to me, and I am excited to make it – and Fond du Lac – my new home,” he said. “But, more than anything, I was drawn to Marian University’s mission and vision, and I am deeply committed to the same values promoted by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes – specifically service and education of the whole person.”

Mulliken brings extensive experience in higher education, having served for three years as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness at the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois. There, he also functioned as the institutional Accreditation Liaison Officer to the Higher Learning Commission, and he served as a National Board Member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

“I feel fortunate to have someone with the amount of knowledge and experience that Dr. Mulliken has joining Marian University to help guide the education and future of our students,” Marian University President Dr. Michelle Majewski said. “As Marian University continues working to create a renowned, distinct educational experience, I look forward to all of the great things Dr. Mulliken is sure to accomplish.”

In 2013, Southern Oregon University hired Mulliken as the inaugural Executive Director of its Honors College. Over the next five years he served as President of Phi Kappa Phi: National Honor Society, and as President of the Western Regional Honors Council. He engaged with the National Collegiate Honors Society by serving on three committees, including Teaching and Learning. At SOU, he initiated the Democracy Project, and sponsored field experiences for students in nearly 25 nations around the world to expose them to various international models of democracy.

His research, publications, and academic-conference presentations have focused predominantly on the topics of collective identity, democracy, leadership, and Honors pedagogy.

“As a Catholic applied liberal-arts community, Marian University provides opportunities for students to be able to transform themselves from learners into leaders,” Mulliken said. “I’m eager to contribute to the faculty, staff, and especially the students at Marian University.”

Mulliken grew up in Independence, Mo. and earned a doctorate in History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with his interdisciplinary dissertation receiving the Mormon History Association’s Outstanding Dissertation Award.

For several years he worked as an adjunct instructor before joining the faculty in the Department of History, Political Science, and Global Studies at the University of Saint Mary in 2003, eventually becoming a full tenured professor and serving as Department Chair, First-Year Experience Coordinator, and Director of the Global Studies Institute.

At USM, he was engaged in Phi Alpha Theta: National History Honor Society and participated as an ETS College Board APUSH Reader as a Board Examiner for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and as a Board Examiner for the Kansas Department of Education. Twice he earned USM’s Sullivan Award for Teaching Excellence.

He enjoys dogs, photography, snow skiing, bicycling, and jazz. He and his wife, Wendy, have two adult daughters, and two vivacious and precocious grandchildren.