Board Leadership

Dr. David J. Livingston


Dr. David J. Livingston took office as Lewis University’s 10th President on July 1, 2016. With more than 15 years of academic and leadership experience, his knowledge of the operational functions of a university and the needs of its various student populations will guide the institution to new heights.

Dr. Livingston previously served as President of Lourdes University since 2013. During his tenure, Lourdes experienced an increase in the quality, retention and graduation rates of its students; expanded academic programs and renovated the campus to support their strategic growth initiatives; and successfully completed a capital campaign.

Prior to his presidency at Lourdes University, he served Mercyhurst University for 16 years in various diverse capacities, including President of the Faculty Senate and Vice President for Advancement. Prior to joining the Mercyhurst community, he taught religious studies at Loyola Academy High School in Wilmette, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, University of St. Francis in Joliet, Joliet Catholic Academy and Loyola University of Chicago.

Working in association with colleagues, Dr. Livingston advanced a series of initiatives in his prior academic and administrative roles, including:

  • Developing a study abroad program;
  • Establishing an international campus in Dungarvan, Ireland;
  • Raising funds for a new $10.5 million academic building as well as managing the construction; and
  • Achieving the $30 million mark two years ahead of schedule on a $50 million capital campaign.

A native of Dundee, he received his B.A. in Chemistry from Augustana College; his M.A. in Theology from Loyola University, and his Ph.D. in Theology from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Livingston’s scholarship focuses on the theological and ethical aspects of forgiveness and reconciliation. His primary concentration is interpreting religious and cultural responses to domestic violence.

He and his wife Joan, a clinical social worker, have seen their academic and professional careers take them to many cities throughout Illinois, and other locations including Europe, Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Ohio. The couple also enjoys spending time with their adult children Matt and Sara.


Dr. Jamel SC Wright

Vice Chair

Dr. Jamel SC Wright arrived at Eureka College in 2014 as the Special Assistant to the President and later as Vice President of Strategic & Diversity Initiatives. While at the College, Dr. Wright has successfully led the effort to update the College’s strategic plan, enhance communications, overhaul the Title IX policy and processes on sexual discrimination, work collaboratively with human resources to examine and refine hiring practices, establish strategic community partnerships, and attract renowned speakers like John Carlos from the 1968 Olympics to the campus.

In the fall of 2015 the Eureka College Board of Trustees announced Dr. Wright’s appointment as interim president, which began on July 1, 2016 and ended on June 30, 2017 when the Board announced that she would be become the 27th president.  She is the first woman and African American to serve as president of this 165-year-old institution.  Dr. Wright received the 2019 Mayors Community Service Award during Peoria (IL) Mayor Jim Ardis’ State of the City address.

Wright was one of several experts tapped to serve on the Ferguson Commission’s Citizen Law Enforcement Working Group (Ferguson, Mo) on community policing, racial profiling, use of force and mass demonstrations. Wright’s career reveals her enduring passion for education and servant leadership. She was Coordinator of the America Reads Program, President of the St. Joseph Area Literacy Coalition, and a teacher and trainer with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School Initiative. After recognizing her calling in higher education, she embarked on a 20-year career in the field, including a broad range of experiences at Boston College, Saint Louis University and the University of Kansas.

Dr. Wright is a St. Louis, Mo. native, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and participates in many organizations and community efforts. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her daughter Kaiya, her stepson TJ and her husband, Telly. Dr. Wright received a doctorate and a master’s degree, both from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Mo., all in communication studies.

Dr. Barbara A. Farley

Secretary Treasurer

When Barbara A. Farley joined Illinois College as its 14th president in 2013, she brought with her the deep-rooted belief that the world needs more colleges like Illinois College. Since her first day on campus, President Farley has been making that case to the world and has defined a vision for the College to inspire achievement and empower students to make a difference.

President Farley strives each day to discover what students are excited about and the best ways to support their success — whether that means cheering from the sidelines of a sporting event or shining a spotlight on their student-faculty research. She is a leader who bases her definition of success on the achievements of the students and alumni of the institution that she leads. They serve as ambassadors who make the undeniable case for Illinois College each day as they use their education to make a difference in the world wherever they go.

During her presidency, Illinois College has reached new heights in donor engagement and giving, celebrated breakthroughs in academic innovation, upgraded its world-class learning facilities and experienced a 10-year high in enrollment. Under her leadership, student access to life-changing opportunities at IC — like BreakAway tripsinternships and student-faculty research — has grown. She has united the College in its mission, giving students an environment that develops their minds, enriches their spirits and nurtures their unique gifts and talents. President Farley can regularly be found on campus, whether she is detailing the complexities of strategic growth during a town hall meeting or lending a hand to help new students and their families on move-in day. She also travels far and wide to share the Illinois College story.

In her journey to becoming the first female president of Illinois College, Dr. Farley has had many professional experiences that have convinced her of the value of small, independent colleges. She has taught and provided leadership at five such institutions since 1985, including her most recent role prior to IC, as vice president of academic affairs and dean of Augsburg College in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The insight she gained as a professor and academic dean inspired her hands-on leadership style which can most aptly be described as collaborative. She values teamwork and has a remarkable ability to listen and consider the many diverse perspectives within the Illinois College community. From students and faculty to staff, trustees, alumni and friends of the College — she is often the glue that connects each corner of IC’s vibrant learning community.

President Farley works closely with other leaders in higher education to share ideas and develop the best strategies for preparing students for the challenges of 21st-century careers. She brings wisdom to her role cultivated during her studies at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where she earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in business administration. She is active nationally in higher education, currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Council of Independent Colleges Board of Directors and as chair of the Midwest Conference Presidents’ Council. Farley is also invested in the future of health care in the region, serving on the Board of Directors for both Memorial Health and Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. She served previously as president of the Associated Colleges of Illinois, as part of the Tax Policy Committee for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, on the board of directors for the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, and on the Executive Committee for the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities.