Indiana Wesleyan University Names new Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

MARION – Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) announced Wednesday that it promoted Dr. Karen A. Dowling as its new Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Dowling will work with the other executives across the IWU campuses to create a community that reflects kingdom diversity and values each member’s earthly and eternal worth by embracing an inclusive staff, faculty, and student population and establishing an equitable work and learning environment.

Part of Dr. Dowling’s mission is to fill in the gaps within the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of IWU. She says, “I value my diverse cultural heritage; I have had experiences of otherness in life and global understandings that have shaped my worldview, and I want to share that with others by supporting, collaborating with, educating, and empowering them.”

After graduating from Marion High School, Dr. Dowling attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she earned a Ph.D. in Educational Studies, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Supervision, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Japanese teaching. She has taught Spanish and Japanese at the high school level in Indianapolis and Muncie school districts and at the university level at Indiana University-Kokomo, Ball State University, Taylor University, Olivet Nazarene University, and Indiana Wesleyan University. In her most recent role as the first Executive Director of Multicultural Learning and Engagement at IWU-National & Global, she advanced the work of Christ-centered diversity and brought great value and perspective to the broader inclusive excellence work at IWU. Dr. Dowling’s education, experience, talents, and gifts have prepared her for this new role as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“Diversity and equality are deeply rooted in both the Wesleyan Church and Indiana Wesleyan University’s heritage,” says Dr. David Wright, President of IWU. “I am excited to have Dr. Dowling continue to lead our IWU community in our ongoing DEI efforts. She is highly respected across the university and has collaborated on many university-wide DEI initiatives. She is a gifted educator and an outstanding leader who will work tirelessly to drive the university to become a community that reflects and promotes the diversity of God’s Kingdom.”

Dr. Dowling has received numerous awards, including the Toyota International Teacher study abroad award, and she is a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar. These awards allowed her to study abroad in Japan, where she learned to apply and develop social, cultural, economic, and educational understandings and skills. In 2021, she received the IWU 2021 President’s Award for Meritorious Service.