Earlham College names Brian LaDuca associate vice president of academic affairs 

Brian LaDuca, a pioneering leader in experiential education and curricular innovation, has been named associate vice president for academic affairs at Earlham College.

In this key role on the academic affairs leadership team, LaDuca will provide strategic and visionary oversight of the Epic Journey, the College’s signature student success initiative. He begins his duties on Monday, January 8.

“The Epic Journey has become a national model for student success in higher education,” said Earlham President Anne Houtman. “By combining our nationally ranked classroom experience with essential opportunities for career-discernment and personal discovery, each of our students graduate having received the preparation they need for post-graduate success. 

“Brian will carry on this rich legacy with outstanding leadership and creativity as we look to build upon these transformational opportunities that only an Earlham education can provide,” she said.

LaDuca is currently the associate vice president for strategic innovation at Oakmont Education, a network of career-tech charter schools based in Akron, Ohio. 

Previously, LaDuca had an impressive 11-year career at the University of Dayton in Ohio where he held several leadership roles and developed many exciting initiatives to improve student success. He was the architect of the university’s Institute for Applied Creativity for Transformation, which resulted in new curricular models and innovation in the classroom. He also led the development of The Gem, the university’s first experimental laboratory that encourages creative collaboration between students and Dayton community members. A new micro-credentialing program was also the result of his leadership.

Before his career in education administration, LaDuca worked as a lecturer and resident artist with a focus on theatre, performance studies and film at the University of Chicago and the University of Nebraska.

“We are fortunate to have a leader of Brian’s caliber join us,” said Rick Stephens, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “In each of his previous roles, Brian has proven effective at working with multidisciplinary teams to design and build inventive programs that prepare students for continued education and rewarding careers.

“His enthusiasm for developing a growth mindset in students is especially contagious,” he said. “That’s what the Epic Journey is all about.”

LaDuca earned a Doctorate in Philosophy and Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton; a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Nebraska; and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

“A major focus of my career has been building effective and equitable programs that respond to the needs of the real world,” LaDuca said. “Never in all my research have I discovered an institution that has doubled down holistically on this approach and is positioned to support students the way Earlham has.”

Earlham’s Epic Advantage, which offers every student up to $5,000 to participate in an internship, research or other career-discerning experience, is exceedingly rare in higher education, LaDuca notes.  

“The Epic Journey is a goldmine of opportunities that helps students design the kind of life they want to live while giving them the skills and experiences they need to be successful after graduation,” he said. “I’m excited to join Earlham and contribute to its rich legacy of excellence in the liberal arts.”


About Earlham College 

Since 1847, Earlham College has fostered a collaborative learning community that inspires and motivates students with transformative opportunities and experiences so they can become catalysts for good in a changing world. Located in Richmond, Indiana, Earlham is one of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 national liberal arts colleges and offers one of the top 20 classroom experiences in the nation, according to the Princeton Review.

Media contact

Brian Zimmerman
Director of media relations

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 765.983.1256

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.