CENTRAL, S.C. (courtesy swu.edu) — Southern Wesleyan University has named Dr. Robert McFarland as the university’s next provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, to begin in June 2023.
“Rob McFarland brings a depth of knowledge that complements his new position.” says Dr. Sandra McLendon, vice provost of Academic Strategy and interim provost. “He is experienced in curriculum, faculty governance, and accreditation. Furthermore, his skill sets will be an asset to the university and our core values of purpose, scholarship, community, and transformation.”
“Dr. McFarland has a unique and valuable constellation of talents only equaled by the depth of his commitments to Christ and his family.” says Dr. William D. Barker, SWU president. “He is a stellar scholar with a world-class intellect, as well as an insightful leader. Dr. McFarland also has decades of experience in key areas for SWU’s educational mission both now and into the future. He has already demonstrated a passion for students and how they are shaped spiritually and intellectually. SWU is blessed to have Dr. McFarland as our new provost, and I look forward to serving alongside of him for many years to come.”
A thoughtful educator and administrator with a deep love for the Lord, Dr. McFarland comes to SWU from an 18-year career at Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law where he has served over the years as the vice dean, associate dean of external relations, director of advocacy programs, and associate professor of Law. With an extensive background in strategic consulting and accreditation, McFarland played a key role in achieving American Bar Association accreditation for the Jones School of Law as well as in founding the Board of Directors for the Blackstone and Burke Center for Law and Liberty. He also serves as a strategic consultant to such prominent universities and law schools as Auburn University and Ave Maria Law School.
McFarland grew up in the shadows of the Ozarks in Springfield, Missouri and has spent the last 20 years in Montgomery, Alabama. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma Christian University and his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and has practiced law in Texas as an associate at Winstead, Sechrest & Minick and in Arizona as a member of Ekmark & Ekmark.
With a heart for Christian education and strong desire to cultivate transformative learning communities, Dr. McFarland has taught, mentored, and led his students and partnered with colleagues at Faulkner in strategic planning, accreditation, and many committee leadership roles for the development and growth of the Jones School of Law. Author of the widely used textbook Foundations of Law, with his colleague Adam MacLeod, McFarland has also published numerous essays and articles and is a frequent panelist and speaker at legal and Christian scholars conferences.
Dr. McFarland and his wife, Anita, have four children: Ian, Lily, Seth, and Silas. They will join the Southern Wesleyan University community in July 2023.