President's Biography

Shilling Hall in Fall

James M. Reynolds

Jim ReynoldsPresident, Millikin University

B.A. (Biology), Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa (1979)
M.A. (Zoology), DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind. (1981)
Ph.D. (Biology), Illinois State University, Normal, Ill. (1985)


Dr. James M. Reynolds was elected the 16th president of Millikin University, effective July 1, 2020.

Previously, Dr. Reynolds served as president of Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, a position he held since 2012 after serving as interim president from August 2011 to February 2012. As president, Reynolds was responsible for the continued growth and development of the College and the function and success of all the integrated units on campus, including Development and Advancement, Academic Affairs, Student Life, Business and Finance, Athletics, External Programs and Enrollment Management.

During his time at Wilmington, Dr. Reynolds led the creation of a new campus-wide strategic planning process and oversaw the successful reaccreditation of Wilmington College by the Higher Learning Commission in 2017. Under his leadership, Wilmington renovated and expanded their science facilities (completed in August 2016) and launched partnerships with three medical health care providers that resulted in the construction of the Center for Sports Sciences (completed in August 2015). The College also increased its Annual Fund support and overall giving during the last three years of Reynolds’ presidency. During his time at Wilmington, the College concluded its largest fundraising campaign in institutional history in December 2017, exceeding the $21 million goal.

Reynolds came to Wilmington College in 2007 to serve as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. Prior to Wilmington College, Reynolds served as academic vice president and dean of the college at Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) in Fremont, Neb., from 2003 – 2006. Previously, he held various teaching and administrative positions at Drake University, including associate dean and interim dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Reynolds' scholarly work has been published extensively, and his classroom excellence has resulted in six Teacher of the Year awards. He was awarded an American Council on Education fellowship at Illinois Wesleyan University and a postdoctoral research fellowship from the National Institutes of Health at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine.

Reynolds earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Drake University and a Master of Arts in zoology from DePauw University. He earned a Ph.D. in biology from Illinois State University. Reynolds and his wife, Sue, have two daughters, Amanda and Erin.

Millikin University is a private, comprehensive institution with a diverse population of approximately 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students. From the beautiful 75-acre campus in the heart of Decatur, Ill., Millikin students choose from more than 50 academic programs within the University’s College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business. Millikin consistently receives recognition as one of the nation’s best colleges. Recently, the University was named to The Princeton’s Review’s list of “The Best Midwest Colleges for 2020,” as well as the list of “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes – a distinguished list of which Millikin has annually been a part since 2009. Publications including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report have also recognized Millikin University’s accomplishments.