Darrin Good’s father taught sixth-grade science in the Illinois town of Aledo, and his family believed in the value of education.
On Monday, the Nebraska Wesleyan University board announced that Good would be the next president of the private university in Lincoln.
“I’m on cloud nine,” Good said in a brief telephone interview. “I just couldn’t be more excited. In fact, I wish I were starting tomorrow.”
He will start on July 1. He will take over for Fred Ohles, who is retiring after a dozen years as Nebraska Wesleyan’s president.
Good said he has few Nebraska connections, but one of his friends is Christopher Whitt, who now is vice provost for institutional diversity and inclusion at Creighton University. Good and Whitt were colleagues on the Augustana College faculty in Illinois.
Whitt said he and Good collaborated on diversity and inclusion presentations even after Good left Augustana.
“I’m happy to see him assume this role as president of Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he will certainly succeed as a leader to the benefit of the institution and the surrounding community,” Whitt said in an email.
Good, 53, has served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Whittier College near Los Angeles since 2015. His wife, Diana, is a high school Spanish teacher in the Los Angeles area. He said their daughter, Samantha, is finishing her doctoral work in Spanish at the University of Illinois.
Nebraska Wesleyan enrolls about 2,000 students.
Before going to Whittier, Good was associate provost and dean of science and education at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Augustana and received a master’s degree and doctorate in biology from the University of Kansas. He then was a professor and administrator at Augustana.
He expects to lead “with my ears and my feet.” By that, he meant that he would start his presidency by listening, visiting with alumni and meeting faculty members in their offices.