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Dordt University names new VPAA

Posted: May 29th, 2020
Tags: General, WWW Front Page

Dr. Leah Zuidema has been appointed to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Dordt University.

Zuidema holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University. At Dordt, Zuidema taught English for more than seven years and served as an associate provost and a dean for seven years. Most recently, she worked as Vice President for Online and Graduate Education, leading the expansion of Dordt’s online and graduate programs to ensure academic excellence and mission fit.

“Serving administratively over the past eight years has given me a chance to listen to many faculty, staff, students, and prospective employees, all sharing about their stories within God’s story,” says Zuidema. “These testimonies are compelling, and I am eager to lead a learning community where we deepen our Reformational understanding.”

In addition to her work at Dordt, Zuidema holds an academic service role as President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), a national nonprofit and the leading member association for literacy educators in the United States. Also, as a Fulbright Scholar, she participated in a United States – France International Education Administrators’ Program in France and Belgium.

As VPAA, Zuidema will lead as the university’s chief academic leader, providing guidance and encouragement to faculty and others as Dordt seeks to serve students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively for Christ-centered renewal in all areas of life.

“Dr. Zuidema is the perfect fit for this role,” says President Erik Hoekstra. “She brings academic expertise and an advanced understanding of curriculum and instruction, which will be an asset to her in this role. She is also an advocate for the Reformed Christian perspective, which is integral to Dordt as an institution.”

“I love Dordt—who we are, what we do, our mission,” says Zuidema. “I love academic leadership, too. As an administrator, I’ve had many opportunities to get to know our faculty and support them in their development. It will be a joy to lead the central learning tasks of the university.”

Others within Dordt’s leadership team have taken on additional responsibilities of the former provost role, including those in co-curricular and operational areas. As VPAA, Zuidema will provide leadership for all academic areas, including the onlne and graduate programs that were previously in her responsibility.

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. For four years in a row, Dordt has been named number one in the nation for student engagement by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review. To learn more, visit