On August 1, 2019, Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack began his tenure as the ninth president of Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Warmack served as president of Harris-Stowe State University for five years. Warmack brings more than 20 years of progressive administrative experience in higher education at five distinct institutions. Dr. Warmack provided leadership to more than 450 full and part-time faculty and staff and had oversight of a budget in excess of $32 million. Since his arrival in 2014, Harris-Stowe has witnessed a transformation, unheralded in its 160-year history. Dr. Warmack has shepherded more than $15 million in external funding to the institution, including a $5 million grant, the largest in the institution’s history. He cultivated more than 16 partnerships and collaborations with Fortune 500 companies, regional organizations and other higher education institutions to strengthen Harris-Stowe’s infrastructure. During Dr. Warmack’s tenure, Harris-Stowe witnessed its highest gains in student enrollment in decades, posting the highest percentage enrollment increases among Missouri’s public institutions for two consecutive years. Additionally, as part of the institutional strategic plan that he spearheaded, the institution embarked on an ambitious goal of expanding its academic offerings. As a result, degrees, minors, and certificate programs have increased by more than 40 percent. These includes expanding liberal arts and business degrees and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines (STEM). As a result of his executive leadership to transform the curricular and co-curricular enterprises at Harris-Stowe, the institution is ranked regionally and nationally in various publications and online journals with U.S. News and World Report ranking Harris-Stowe as one of the best HBCUs and Midwest Universities in the United States. Dr. Warmack’s success at Harris-Stowe has captured national acclaim cumulating with a front-page article in the Chronicle for Higher Education, features in the New York Times, the Detroit Free Press and appearances on CNN, Al Jazeera America, C-SPAN and NPR.
He is a scholar-practitioner and possesses a wealth of experience in program design, faculty, student development, assessment and accreditation. Dr. Warmack’s trajectory in higher education has been extraordinary. Prior to his appointment as president of Harris-Stowe, he served as the senior vice president, administration and student services at Bethune-Cookman University, overseeing a staff of 170. Among his several successes at that institution, Dr. Warmack provided oversight of a multi-million dollar renovation of the institution’s residence halls. Prior to his tenure at Bethune-Cookman, he served as the associate dean of students at Rhodes College in Memphis, where he led the department of Student Affairs in judicial affairs, student activities, Greek life, new student and parent orientation and multicultural affairs. Warmack has also held positions at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and Delta State University.
Dr. Warmack provides a brand of leadership that is characterized by an unqualified insistence on data driven decision-making and a commitment to higher education’s current best practices. A visionary with a unique understanding and appreciation for today’s Generation Z students, he is committed to academic integration and the holistic development of students. Warmack is committed to developing programs that promote diversity, pluralism and cultural competency. Throughout his career, he has championed inclusion, academic excellence and the retention of underrepresented students. Over the years, he has presented more than 120 diversity and leadership presentations and workshops to an array of individuals and groups.
To bolster his executive fortes, Dr. Warmack has participated in a variety of professional development opportunities including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), and Hampton University’s “On The Road to the Presidency: Executive Leadership Summit.” In 2019, Dr. Warmack was selected and conducted global research as an Eisenhower Fellow.
Dr. Warmack was named the Delta State University “Black Alumnus of the Year” and was inducted into the institution’s Hall of Fame. Other awards and recognitions for his work in higher education and the community include but not limited to, Delux Magazine "Power 100 Trailblazer Award,” "St. Louis Business Journal 40 under 40,” St. Louis American “Salute to Excellence Young Leader Award,” "The Rickey Smiley Foundation Trailblazer Award,” "Who’s Who in Color Most Intriguing People and" “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018.”
Dr. Warmack was appointed as Chairman of the Missouri Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Statewide Commission in 2015 and served as Chairman for 4 years. Warmack previously served on the boards of the Cortex Innovation Community, the Saint Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, St. Louis Muny, the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America and Millennium Leadership Initiative Executive Steering Committee. Other past board memberships include the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) Foundation, and the Alumni Board of Directors for Delta State University. Dr. Warmack is a peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission, the largest regional accreditation body in the United States.
Dr. Warmack earned a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in sociology from Delta State University. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in higher education from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and his post-doctoral studies in educational leadership at Harvard University School of Education. Dr. Warmack is married to LaKisha Warmack and they have one daughter, Morgan.