Avila Now

May 4, 2021

Whapham named Vice President of Academic Affairs

Headshot of Theodore Whapham
Theodore Whapham, Ph.D.. Whapham was named vice president of academic affairs, effective July 1.

Avila University today announced the appointment of Theodore James Whapham, Ph.D., as vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1. In this role, he will support the work of faculty through oversight of curriculum, new curricular activities, academic policies and other areas essential to the University.

“I am so pleased to be welcoming Dr. Ted Whapham as our vice president for academic affairs, a position central to our work at Avila,” said Ronald A. Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA, Avila President. “His excellent experience will help Avila continue to provide the top-notch education our students expect.”

Whapham’s deep understanding of Avila values and in identifying opportunities for growth in the classroom made him the ideal candidate for the position, according to Slepitza.

“Ted has a long history of service in Catholic universities, and he knows and values our particular charism as a Sisters of St. Joseph university,” he said. “His work with dioceses across the country has promoted the personal and faith-based development of the communities where he and his family have lived. He is committed to serving our people and the broader Kansas City community.”

Whapham takes charge of a dynamic faculty teaching a rapidly expanding selection of courses in forward-looking programs. He said the prospect of promoting the work of Avila’s founders in and out of the classroom proved compelling, as well.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Avila University community because it provides me the opportunity to join an outstanding faculty and staff and to advance the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet,” Whapham said. “The CSJ have been at the forefront of working to establish a more just and equitable society in the United States and reaching out to the world for over a century. The prospect of playing a role in building upon this important work of social justice in a tightknit educational community is a mission that I am looking forward to help advance.”

Prior to Avila, Whapham served as Dean of the Neuhoff School of Ministry at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. In his seven years, he developed several education and fundraising initiatives that resulted in national recognition and more than $1 million in direct donations. As lead university representative for a new $10 million homiletics institute, his efforts contributed to more than $4.5 million in commitments to date. Previously, he served as an assistant professor at the St. Thomas University School of Theology and Ministry in Miami. As director of two graduate degree programs, Whapham’s direction led to integrated enrollment projects and programs that exceeded performance goals in both programs.

“I look forward to adding my experience leading and developing successful academic programs to Avila’s distinctive vision of combining a liberal arts education with outstanding professional programs,” Whapham said. “With faculty, staff, and administration working together, we will continue to build on Avila’s success in providing a stellar educational experience where students are known, appreciated and given the support to thrive.”

Whapham earned his bachelor of arts degree in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, before completing master’s and doctoral degrees in Theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is an active member in numerous academic and religious organizations, both personally and professionally.

Go back to the top