Nearly three years after opening a new campus in Surprise, Ottawa University has named Dr. Dennis Tyner as its first president.
Tyner, who has led the West Valley campus since it opened in February 2017, was promoted from senior vice president by Chancellor Dr. Kevin Eichner.
“Dr. Tyner has done a tremendous job leading our new Surprise campus — and literally helping it rise out of the ground from day one — in his role as senior vice president and provost,” Eichner said. “He has provided superior leadership as our lead executive in the past two years, during which time enormous progress has been made in planting this new version of Ottawa University in the Valley of the Sun.”
More than $50 million in new construction is planned or underway. Some of the major projects include $20 million for student housing, expected to be ready in November, as well as an activity center and numerous sports facilities.
“I’m deeply honored to have been selected by Chancellor Eichner to serve as the first president of our OUAZ residential campus, and I’m excited about the continued growth opportunities,” Tyner said.
“I’m grateful for the talented team of people here, who I’ve been privileged to work with since arriving on the Surprise campus. I’m so proud of their accomplishments to date. Together we have built a solid foundation that focuses on providing our students with a college experience that is second to none.”
Tyner has over 30 years’ experience in higher education, with numerous years spent in instruction, admissions, curriculum and program development, facilities operations, athletics and student activities. He joined Ottawa University in 2007 after leaving his position as dean of the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University in Vermont.
“Dr. Tyner will personally oversee academic affairs for both Surprise and Phoenix,” Eichner said. “In addition, the Surprise athletic and student affairs areas will report up to him. He will continue to build and personally teach in the engineering and sciences areas, and will focus his fundraising activities in support of those. Finally, he will continue to be the major day-to-day liaison with the city of Surprise, working closely with our partners there.”
Tyner earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and has published several articles on research. He has also taught engineering students for more than 20 years at numerous institutions.
Ottawa University is a private, Baptist, liberal arts university based in Ottawa, Kansas, though it has satellite campuses around the United States, including the Surprise location. It was founded in 1865 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of USA. The college has over 5,000 total students, with over 800 projected to begin this fall in Surprise.
Ottawa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers over a number of degree programs including Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Arts in Human Resources and Master of Arts in Counseling.