DWU appoints Dustin Wheeler as new Dean of Students

MITCHELL – Dakota Wesleyan University announced recently that former Director of Residence Life Dustin Wheeler has been named the new Dean of Students.  Wheeler has been employed at the university since 2019.

Wheeler’s career has mostly been spent in education.  He taught middle school social studies in Yankton and Mitchell before joining Innovative Systems for four years.  In 2019 he was hired as a TRIO student advisor and coordinator of disability services at DWU.  In 2020, Wheeler took on the position of Director of Residence life where he handled student disciplinary issues, policy, and procedures, including oversight of the student handbook.  In February 2023 he was appointed the interim Dean of Students before his hiring to the permanent position in May.  Wheeler also serves as DWU’s campus photographer and is the owner and operator of ThirDWheel Photography.

A Hartford native, Wheeler is a graduate of Mount Marty College with bachelor’s degrees in history and education.  He holds a Master of Arts in Technology for Education from the University of South Dakota.

About his appointment Wheeler said, “I am excited to expand on my role at DWU.  I cannot imagine a more student-centered position than the Dean of Students. Our student life team is exceptional, and I’m looking forward to working in combination with each department to elevate the student experience. This work is something I am passionate about and provides me with a great sense of purpose.”

Wheeler will take on a significant supervisory role overseeing several areas including residential life, student activities, campus health, campus ministry, TRIO student support services, academic success, career services and will serve as adviser to the student senate.

DWU President Dan Kittle said, “As the Dean of Students, Dustin will lead a team that has a significant role in shaping the student experience at DWU.  He will help promote important efforts to increase student engagement, maintain high levels of student satisfaction, and strengthen student retention and success.  As we embark on our new strategic plan, there are a number of initiatives that will require Dustin’s direct involvement.  I know he has a true passion for supporting students, wants to strengthen bridges across campus, and is persistently focused on doing what’s best for students.”

Wheeler resides in Mitchell with his wife, Taylor, and two daughters, Waverly and Wyatt.