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Dwaun Warmack

Higher Education

9th President of Claflin University

St. Louis Business Journal ’40 Under 40′ Recipient

Instrumental in passing legislation allowing HSSA to offer graduate programs

Though Dr. Dwaun Warmack is considered a prominent national leader in higher education, he is soon to become an internationally recognized expert for his advocacy in transforming mass incarceration issues in the United States. Dr. Warmack considers education central to this transformation and his educational trajectory is a testament to this belief. Dr. Warmack began his academic career at Delta State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Sociology. Later, he obtained his doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in higher education from Union University, and completed his post-doctoral studies at Harvard University. Today, Dr. Warmack is the 19th president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri and one of the youngest presidents of a four-year institution in the country.

Upon graduating with his degree, Dwaun Warmack immediately pursued his higher education career, beginning with a stint at his alma mater, Delta State University. His role as Coordinator of Student Development & Activities and as a Financial Aid Counselor, allowed him to be fully immersed in his chosen field and launch a fulfilling career aimed towards transforming the lives of others, particularly, underserved groups. After making great strides with this institution, Dr. Warmack accepted a promotion and new position as Director of Multicultural Affairs at Western Carolina University. In 2005, he accepted another challenge as an Associate Dean at Rhodes College. His most notable accomplishment was his role in the establishment of the Western North Carolina Minority Networking Program. In 2010, Dr. Warmack accepted the position of Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, and later as Senior Vice President of Administration and Student Services at Bethune-Cookman University.

About Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack

Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack began his tenure as the ninth president of Claflin University on August 1, 2019, joining the pantheon of distinguished leaders of the first historically black college or university in South Carolina.

Dr. Warmack was selected by the Claflin University Board of Trustees based on his commitment to academic integration and the holistic development of students. He is committed to developing programs that promote diversity, pluralism and cultural competency. Throughout his career, he has championed inclusion, academic excellence and the retention of underrepresented students. Over the years, he has presented more than 120 diversity and leadership presentations and workshops to an array of individuals and groups.  At Claflin University, Dr. Warmack will remain committed to excellence and to move the university forward to higher levels of national distinction and recognitions.

 Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Warmack served as president of Harris-Stowe State University for five years. He has more than 20 years of progressive administrative experience in higher education at five distinct institutions. Dr. Warmack provided leadership to more than 450 full and part-time faculty and staff and had oversight of a budget in excess of $32 million.  Under his tenure, Harris-Stowe witnessed a transformation, unheralded in its 160-year history.  Dr. Warmack shepherded more than $15 million in external funding to the institution, including a $5 million grant, the largest in the institution’s history.

Dr. Warmack is a scholar-practitioner and possesses a wealth of experience in program design, faculty, student development, assessment and accreditation. His trajectory in higher education has been extraordinary. Prior to his appointment as president of Harris-Stowe, he served as the senior vice president, administration and student services at Bethune-Cookman University, overseeing a staff of 170. Among his several successes at that institution, Dr. Warmack provided oversight of a multi-million dollar renovation of the institution’s residence halls. Prior to his tenure at Bethune-Cookman, he served as the associate dean of students at Rhodes College in Memphis, where he led the department of Student Affairs in judicial affairs, student activities, Greek life, new student and parent orientation and multicultural affairs. He also held positions at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and Delta State University.

A visionary with a unique understanding and appreciation for today’s Generation Z students, Dr. Warmack provides a brand of leadership that is characterized by an unqualified insistence on data driven decision-making and a commitment to higher education’s current best practices.

To bolster his executive acumen, Dr. Warmack has participated in a variety of professional development opportunities, including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), and Hampton University’s “On The Road to the Presidency: Executive Leadership Summit.” In 2019, Dr. Warmack was selected and conducted global research as an Eisenhower Fellow.

Dr. Warmack was named the Delta State University “Black Alumnus of the Year” and was inducted into the institution’s Hall of Fame. Other awards and recognitions for his work in higher education and the community include but not limited to, Delux Magazine Power 100 “Trailblazer Award” Recipient, St. Louis Business Journal “40 under 40”, St. Louis American “Salute to Excellence Young Leader Award”, The Rickey Smiley Foundation “Trailblazer Award”, Who’s Who in Color Most Intriguing People and “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018”.

Dr. Warmack was appointed as Chairman of the Missouri Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Statewide Commission in 2015 and served as Chairman for four years. He previously served on the boards of the Cortex Innovation Community, the Saint Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, St. Louis Muny, the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America and Millennium Leadership Initiative Executive Steering Committee. Other past board memberships include the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) Foundation, and the Alumni Board of Directors for Delta State University. Dr. Warmack is a peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission, the largest regional accreditation body in the United States.  

Dr. Warmack earned a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in sociology from Delta State University. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in higher education from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and his post-doctoral studies in educational leadership at Harvard University School of Education. Dr. Warmack is married to LaKisha Warmack and they have one daughter, Morgan.

Praise for Dr. Warmack

Brad Bunch
Territory Sales Manager / J+J Flooring Group

I had the privilege of recruiting Dwaun Warmack to Delta State University in 1998. It was obvious from day one that Dwaun had the attributes that we were looking for in a student athlete. Hard work , positive attitude, team concepts, excellent student, goal oriented and character were all a part of Dwaun’s makeup. I have since watched Dwaun grow in a number of capacities throughout college and his career. His successes have not been a surprise to me. I predict that he will continue to have a positive affect in Higher Education as he climbs the ladder towards a President position. I strongly recommend Dwaun Warmack and am confident in his abilities at the highest level. He is a great role model and his well rounded experiences will continue to benefit students from all backgrounds. Dwaun Warmack + College President = Sucess.


October 22, 2012