Dr. Sunil Ahuja

Dr. Sunil Ahuja, Ph.D. brings a wealth of experience and a distinguished record of leadership, gained most recently as provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

The selection process, facilitated by a dedicated search committee comprising representatives from Lakeland faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, the Lakeland Foundation, students, alumni and the community, reflects the college's commitment to academic excellence. The process was assisted by the executive search firm R.H. Perry.

College trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Ahuja at their regular meeting April 4Board chair Ellen Foley Kessler expressed utmost confidence in Dr. Ahuja's capability to steer Lakeland toward a prosperous future. "The board is thrilled to welcome Dr. Ahuja to the Lakeland family," Kessler stated. "His visionary leadership will undoubtedly propel us into the next chapter of our history."

At Shawnee State University, Dr. Ahuja carried a broad portfolio of responsibilities in this position, with leadership and oversight over both academic and student affairs divisions of the University. In his time as Provost, Dr. Ahuja has advanced significant institutional priorities, with accomplishments in the development of forward-looking academic vision and programs for enrollment growth, strategic planning, financial stewardship and resource management, accreditation and assessment, data analytics, and retention and completion initiatives leading to student success, among others. He is particularly proud of spearheading efforts leading to the development of the C.H. Lute School of Business, the School of Nursing, and a focus on health and human services-related programs at Shawnee State, all with direct connections to workforce development, greater access and opportunities for education, and for economic growth in Southern Ohio.

Dr. Ahuja previously served as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as vice president for Accreditation Relations, Institutional Change, and Research at the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago, and as Dean of the Division of Social Sciences and Human Services at Lorain County Community College in Ohio.

He was a professor of political science at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he also served as acting chair of the department of history and as chair of the academic senate. He has also held faculty appointments at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Dr. Ahuja has been affiliated with several national higher education organizations, including as alum of the Becoming a Provost Academy (BAPA), sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI). He was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow (with fellowship at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio) and an Ohio Academic Leadership Academy (OALA) Fellow (with fellowship at the University of Akron). He is also an alum of the Academy for Advanced Leadership of The Chair Academy.

Dr. Ahuja holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Nebraska. He has published nine books and numerous articles and book chapters on American legislative politics and congressional elections and taught widely in the field of American government.


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