Dan Kittle

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students

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More about Dan Kittle

Daniel Kittle, Ph.D., holds a B.S. in public relations and political science from Heidelberg University, M.A. in political science, and a Ph.D. in higher, adult, learning and education from Michigan State University. In 2009, Dr. Kittle completed the Foundations of Christian Leadership program through Duke University. After coming to Wartburg in 2005 as Community Partnerships Coordinator in the Center for Community Engagement, Dr. Kittle was promoted to Director in the summer of 2008. In 2012, Dr. Kittle was appointed as the Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives. Reporting to the president, Dr. Kittle helped organize and lead college-wide implementation of the Wartburg College Strategic Plan 2010-20. Dr. Kittle teaches a first-year seminar in education and social change, as well as several courses in the Institute for Leadership Education. He was a founding member of the Bremer County Recovery Coalition, the regional organization tasked with disaster relief. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Blue Mountain Project (BMP), an international non-governmental organization dedicated to partnering with the people of the Hagley Gap District of Jamaica to improve health, education and the economy. Dr. Kittle and his wife, Ashley, served in Jamaica for a year with the BMP. Dr. Kittle is from Warren, Ohio and is married to Ashley Kueker Kittle. They have one son, Grant. Dr. Kittle enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, and traveling.
I believe that leadership should be informed and intentionally integrated with personal identity development and in response to social challenges and opportunities. How do we know what we know? Why do we believe what we believe? How have we come to understand leadership? These are questions we must address first in order to practice leadership holistically and with integrity. Then, through analyzing models, critical reading, and personal reflections we can examine leadership theories. How have others thought about leadership? What are the best practices of leadership? Informed by these leadership theories and practices, I believe we must ask our students to explore, identify, and critically examine the challenges and opportunities that they find in today’s communities. In other words, how can students understand and impact aspects of our society that are in need of transformation? And, how can they do this in a way that is informed by their personal identity development and vocational discernment? This is where a service-learning pedagogy challenges and stretches students to engage and reflect on these issues in communities that are often new to them. Overall, the study of leadership is dynamic because it is rooted in self and informed by multiple disciplines. Like the mission of Wartburg, it is in an invitation for students to reflect on the relationship between education, socialization, liberation, and personal development.