Olivet Nazarene University President John C. Bowling announced today that Dr. Dennis Crocker has been named as the University’s new vice president of academic affairs. A 1975 graduate of ONU, Dr. Crocker comes to the position from a notable career in academia, including his most recent position as the dean for Olivet’s School of Professional Studies.
Prior to coming to Olivet, Dr. Crocker was the vice president for academic services and chief academic officer at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. Before that, he served at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe, Kan.) as chair of the division of fine arts for 22 years and as the associate dean for three years.
Dr. Crocker holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is also an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene.
“Dennis is an experienced academic administrator and a strong missional fit,” said Dr. Bowling. “He is already a member of our faculty and academic administrative staff. He knows us, and we know him. The University will not lose time or momentum in the transition.”
Connections with Olivet run deep in Dr. Crocker’s family, with more than 100 family members having attended the University. His great-grandfather, C.F. Hendricker, participated with others in buying Olivet out of bankruptcy in 1926. His parents met while ONU students. He and his wife, Jeannie, both received bachelor’s degrees — he in music and she in nursing — from Olivet. In 2002, he received Olivet’s prestigious Outstanding Alumni “O” Award.
The Crockers are the parents of DJ, married to Liz, of Gardner, Kan.; Nicki, an Olivet graduate; and Tori who plans to attend Olivet in a few years. They have two grandchildren, Sabina and Charlie, the children of DJ and Liz.
Dr. Crocker follows in the footsteps of Dr. Gregg Chenoweth, current vice president for academic affairs, who was recently named the new president for Bethel College. Dr. Chenoweth, who officially begins his new role in July, will be available to support Dr. Crocker and Olivet through the transition.