At a press conference Feb. 15, the Board of Trustees of Chowan University announced the selection of Kirk E. Peterson as the 23rd president of Chowan University. He will take office June 1.
Kirk E. Peterson
“My family and I are thrilled to return to Murfreesboro and Chowan University,” stated Peterson.
“We are eager to become reacquainted with members of the Chowan community, faculty, and staff and to become acquainted with those members we have yet to meet. Our family is blessed beyond measure to serve a remarkable university, its talented faculty, its dedicated staff, and its most important constituents: the students.”
“Dr. Peterson’s academic credentials are impeccable,” stated Frank Rose, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Peterson is no stranger to Chowan University, for he served as a faculty and staff member from 2004-2010. During these years, he served as the chair of the department of health and physical education, as the founding dean of the graduate school, and as associate provost.”
Peterson earned the doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Tennessee in 2000, along with a master of science degree in education with a major in mental health counseling, and holds a second master of science degree in education with a major in sports psychology earned in 1996. In 1994, he received the bachelor of science degree in psychology from University of Wisconsin La-Crosse.
Peterson also has experience as senior vice president and interim president followed by president at Urbana University in Ohio. After facilitating a successful merger of Urbana, saving the university from absolute closure, Peterson became superintendent of two private schools in Ohio.
M. Christopher White, the current Chowan University president, announced last fall he would transition to the role of chancellor after 32 years as a university president.
This transition will coordinate with Peterson’s arrival in June. This cooperative succession will allow White to assist Peterson, raise funds for important projects, and help raise the profile of the university.
“I am eager to begin work with a devoted staff, expert faculty, talented senior team and remarkable Board of Trustees,” Peterson said. “As Luke 12:48 states, ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’ As a university community, we will always be reminded that we have been given a tremendous opportunity in educating and mentoring our students. Also, we are expected to assist in the intellectual, physical, mental, social, and, most importantly, spiritual development and maturation of our students. So, as you can see, we have been given much and much is expected of us.”
Peterson is married to Rachel, and they have three sons.