AUSTIN — Western Governors University (WGU) announced today the appointment of Dr. Darrin Q. Rankin as Regional Vice President and as Chancellor of WGU Texas. As Regional Vice President, Rankin will lead university operations across a five-state region—spanning from Louisiana to New Mexico—and as Chancellor he will guide the strategic direction of the online, nonprofit university’s Texas-based affiliate.
Rankin succeeds former WGU Texas Chancellor Dr. Steven Johnson, and joins Regional Director Linda Battles to execute strategy and operations that optimize student success, increase alumni engagement, and develop and sustain partnerships that expand access and affordability to higher education in Texas and the greater region: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Before joining WGU, Rankin was Chief Student Affairs Officer and Vice President of Student Success at Lone Star College (LSC) – Kingwood in Houston. The nationally and internationally recognized academician, published scholar, researcher, and administrator brings more than two decades of broad, diverse higher education expertise to the position, having served in eight institutions of higher learning.
“We’re thrilled to have Darrin at the helm as we work to expand affordable, quality higher education opportunities and access in Texas and across the region,” said David Grow, Chief Operating Officer of WGU. “Darrin’s focus on student success, his passion for diversity and student empowerment in education, and his extensive background at a broad range of institutions make him the right leader for this position.”
In addition to his leadership role at LSC, Rankin served as Chairperson for The Diversity Committee at the Kingwood Campus. He has worked with the National Hispanic Institute as a faculty member working with Latino students on educational access and success issues. He frequently speaks to students about the importance of empowerment and education and has presented at more than 100 national and international conferences on higher education matters related to poverty, male attainment in education, executive coaching, diversity training, enrollment management, student retention, student life, and judicial affairs training. In May 2011, he received a commendation from Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8) and the U.S. House of Representatives for his community service.
Prior to his tenure with LSC, Rankin served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Dean of Students at Marygrove College—a four-year Catholic institution in Detroit.
Rankin attended Delgado Community College of New Orleans. He also completed a Jesuit education, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans, a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Student Personnel Services from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Jackson State University. He also studied in 2006 at The Abby in Pontlevoy, France, and is a 2001 alum of the distinguished Harvard University IEM program, where he was a Bush Hewlett Fellow.