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Dr. Timothy O'Rourke, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Kenneth R. Perry Dean of the College, is one of 20 senior-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Academic Leadership Institute to participate in a year-long Executive Leadership Academy. Individuals chosen for the program are vice presidents or cabinet officers in higher education who aspire to the presidency of an independent college or university. As a participant, O'Rourke will attend two seminars and ongoing webinars, participate in a mentoring program, develop experiential learning projects focused on specific areas of presidential responsibility, and complete a series of readings and case studies. "The Academy will help prepare CAOs to serve as effective college presidents," says Richard Ekman, President of the Council of Independent Colleges. "Competition for available places in the Academy was intense, and the review committee found the nomination materials to be most impressive. They (and I) believe that Dean O'Rourke has the potential for highly effective leadership as a college or university president." O'Rourke, also a professor of political science at Virginia Wesleyan, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Duke University. Prior to coming to Virginia Wesleyan in 2007, he was Dean of the Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury University in Maryland. For more information about the Executive Leadership Academy, visit