Dr. Jenifer K. Ward began her duties as Luther College’s 11th president July 1, 2019.
A distinguished scholar, Dr. Ward earned her Ph.D. in Germanic languages and literatures from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and received her Bachelor of Arts with distinction from Hendrix College in her hometown of Conway, Arkansas. Dr. Ward was a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota from 1995-2007, where she taught German. Her tenure culminated in serving as the chair of the Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department. Dr. Ward previously held professorships at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
Prior to becoming Luther's president, Dr. Jenifer K. Ward served as Provost and Dean of the College for Centenary College of Louisiana, a tier one national liberal arts college and member of the Associated Colleges of the South, with affiliation to the United Methodist Church. As provost, Dr. Ward was tasked with integrating a liberal arts curriculum with co-curricular programming that would shape an educational experience designed to promote the intentional intellectual, as well as the creative, personal and professional growth of the whole student.
Dr. Ward served at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington from 2007-2014, initially as associate provost, then interim provost and ultimately dean of the college. As dean, Dr. Ward was a member of the cabinet and provided leadership for interdisciplinary, cross-college, international and externally focused initiatives. She successfully led the college's National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) re-accreditation process in 2008.
In 2010, Dr. Ward co-edited the book, “Reworking the German Past: Adaptation in Film, the Arts, and Popular Culture,” and has a long list of essays and book chapters in publication. She has presented papers and organized several sessions at conferences spanning the last three decades, and has been an invited speaker for dozens of events over the same time period.