March , 2019

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NAPERVILLE, IL — North Central College has named Dr. Abiodun “GP” Goke-Pariola its next Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.

Dr. Goke-Pariola will begin his new role at North Central College on July 1 after serving most recently as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

“I was very impressed by the thoughtful engagement of the people I met during my campus visit—from the trustees, alumni and students, to my future faculty and staff colleagues. I am honored by the invitation to join this truly remarkable community,” Dr. Goke-Pariola said.

Prior to his role at Otterbein University, Dr. Goke-Pariola served as dean of the Evans School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Berry College in Rome, Ga. as assistant vice president for academic affairs, and director of the Center for Africana Studies at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga.

“Dr. Goke-Pariola brings to North Central College a wealth of experience in faculty recruitment and development and a record of impact in the area of student-centered learning and outcomes in a liberal arts setting,” North Central College President Dr. Troy D. Hammond said. “GP’s bold and innovative leadership will be a tremendous asset as North Central looks toward its brilliant future.”

He completed his undergraduate degree in English in 1974 and his M.Phil/Ph.D. coursework in 1976, both at the University of Ife—now Obafemi Awolowo University—in Nigeria. He earned a doctor of arts in English language and literature from the University of Michigan in 1982.

The Nigerian native has authored more than 30 articles, book chapters and a book in the field of political sociology of language. He has engaged in conversations about higher education on a national level through regular participation in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) national conferences. He has successfully led the pursuit of several grants throughout his 39-year academic career.

Dr. Goke-Pariola believes the role of liberal arts colleges like North Central is to prepare graduates to meet the needs of employers through advanced, contextual and interdisciplinary learning in broad education areas. Development of critical thinking skills, co-curricular experiences and programs that emphasize global knowledge are among the key tenets of outcomes-based, student-centered learning, he says.

Among his professional honors and distinctions, Dr. Goke-Pariola was awarded an American Council on Education (ACE) fellowship and a Georgia Southern University Black Students Association/NAACP Essence

Distinguished Service Award for Faculty.

Dr. Goke-Pariola and his wife Jennie Smith-Pariola are parents of two daughters, Segi and Simi. Dr. Goke-Pariola also has three older children: Ola, Fola, and Rola.

He will succeed Dr. R. Devadoss Pandian, who is retiring as North Central’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. Pandian has been the College’s chief academic officer since 1995.

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in seven areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit northcentralcollege.edu to learn more.

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