John Sellars

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John Sellars, Ph.D., was named president of Graceland University in May 2007. Before that, he was the fifteenth President of Drury University, serving for two years. Before that, he was senior vice president for institutional advancement at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.


Sellars also has strong ties to Missouri. He was born and raised in Independence, and received his bachelor’s degrees from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg. He continued his education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he received a master's degree in public administration in 1986 and the Ph.D. in 1992. Post-graduate studies include the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University and the Strategic Planning and Higher Education Marketing program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In June 2006, Sellars was one of only 80 presidents of American colleges and universities to participate in the Council of Europe forum “Higher Education and Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights and Civic Responsibility.” The forum brought together 300 American and European leaders in government policy and higher education to discuss how higher education can support emerging democracies.

Sellars' term at Drury University began with high expectations, but deteriorated when he, in short succession, announced the school was millions of dollars in debt, initiated a re-examination of the university's mission, and appeared to squelch...
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