Executive Team

Julie E. Wollman, PhD

tel. 610.499.4101

Dr. Julie E. Wollman became the 10th president of Widener University in January 2016.

Dr. Wollman previously served as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she introduced a campus-wide President’s Listening Initiative, an inclusive and successful process that resulted in an updated mission, values and strategic plan, focused on academic excellence, faculty and staff development, and high impact learning practices for all undergraduate students. Dr. Wollman also established Porreco College, a highly successful satellite campus, offering associate degrees targeted to meet the needs of Erie’s urban population.

Prior to becoming president of Edinboro, Dr. Wollman served as vice president for academic affairs at Wheelock College in Boston, Mass. Before that, she was vice president for academic affairs at Worcester State University, and dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College, where she also co-directed the doctoral program and held rank of full professor.

A graduate of Harvard University where she majored in English and American literature and language and minored in French, Dr. Wollman earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctor of philosophy in education from New York University.

Stephen C. Wilhite, DPhil

Senior Vice President and Provost
tel. 610.499.4105

In collaboration with the academic deans, Provost and Senior Vice President Stephen Wilhite monitors the curricula and advocates for academic resources for all colleges and schools at Widener. 

Dr. Wilhite monitors curricular innovation and resulting student demand; actively encourages and supports faculty in their assessment activities that gauge programmatic excellence; determines the need for hiring new faculty; oversees the faculty’s recruitment, promotion, and tenure review process; administers faculty development programs; and fosters faculty excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Working with the associate provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the associate provost for Graduate Programs, and the assistant provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, the provost and senior vice president administers the academic policies, procedures, and institution-wide requirements for all students. Additional oversight for the Wolfgram Library, the Honors Program, Academic Support Services, and cooperative education round out the features and services that lead to educational excellence at Widener.

In his work overseeing the Office of Student Affairs, the provost and senior vice president collaborates to create dynamic and innovative programming that promotes students’ readiness for learning and contributing to society.

The provost and senior vice president is also the chairperson for the Faculty Council, the Provost’s Council, and the Deans' Council.

Joseph J. Baker, CPA, MBA

Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
tel: 610-499-4156

Joseph J. Baker, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, joined Widener University in May 1999 and directs the daily administrative and financial matters of the university. His responsibilities include enrollment management, athletics, operations and maintenance, information technology, human resources, compliance, risk management, legal, and campus safety, as well as all financial functions. He was Chair of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the university’s first comprehensive strategic plan, Vision 2015, and is currently serving as Co-chair of that same committee for the Vision 2021 strategic plan.

Prior to joining Widener, Mr. Baker spent 20 years in the insurance industry, first at Philadelphia Life Insurance Company and then at Union Fidelity Life Insurance Company/Combined Insurance Company of America Group Division. He served as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Union Fidelity and was responsible for financial planning and operations.

Mr. Baker currently serves on the Board of Directors of University Technology Park, Widener Partnership Charter School, the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO), and The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. He also serves on the member services committee of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania.

Senior Vice President Baker received his bachelor of science in accounting from LaSalle University and a master of business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He attended the Institute for Educational Management program at Harvard University.

He has also taught courses as an adjunct faculty member for the Widener masters of public administration program.

Linda S. Durant, MEd

Senior Vice President for University Advancement
tel: 610-499-4112

As senior vice president for university advancement, Linda S. Durant is responsible for the university’s comprehensive campaign, alumni engagement, development, government and external relations, and university relations for all of Widener University.

During the past decade, Durant served on the faculty and as chair of numerous educational programs offered by CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, including the Leadership in Advancement Management Conference. Linda is the recipient of the 2015 CASE Professional of the Year Award. She has chaired the CASE District I and District II annual conferences and served as a member of the CASE National Board of Trustees. She served as Chair on the CASE District II Board of Directors for two years and is now Past Chair. 

Senior Vice President Durant earned a bachelor’s degree in education and English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh, a master’s degree in education and curriculum development from SUNY Cortland, and has engaged in graduate studies in education, management, and computer science at the University of New Hampshire. She has also completed the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has received certification in strategic integrated planning from The Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) organization.

She is an adjunct faculty member for the Widener master of public administration program.