Dr. D. Merrill Ewert

EDUCATION:            Ph.D., Adult and Continuing Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977

                                                M. A., Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1971

                                                B. A., Social Science, Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas, 1967


EXPERIENCE:          Fresno Pacific University – President Emeritus (August 2012 – present)

Doing research and writing on issues of access, accountability, and affordability in higher education.  Developing online courses on community development, organizational change, and nonprofit leadership.  Consulting with nonprofit organizations on organizational change and leadership development.

Fresno Pacific University – President (June 2002 – July 2012)

Provided overall leadership for the university. Enrollments grew from 1600 to 3600 during same period (currently 1200 undergraduates, 1500 degree completion, and 900 graduate students).  Led reorganization of the university structure and significant expansion of enrollments through the addition of four regional centers, and new academic programs and degrees.  Active in educational and civic organizations, member of various local boards and committees, and served as a Commissioner for WASC (the regional higher education accrediting body). Frequent speaker at civic clubs, churches, higher education organizations, etc.

Cornell Cooperative Extension - Director & Associate Dean (Apr. 1998 – June 2002)        

Served as Director of Extension and Associate Dean for the university’s College of Agriculture and College of Human Ecology.  Provided overall leadership and fiscal oversight for Cornell Cooperative Extension system. Responsible for 57 county extension offices around the state, a staff of 1700, and an annual budget of $120 million. Also advised graduate students, carried out research on values, social capital, and led workshops on community-based development.  Frequent speaker at conferences on adult education, extension and community transformation.

Cornell University - Assistant Professor of Education (1991-1996), and      Associate Professor of Education (1996-1998)

Taught and carried out research on adult education and community development issues.   Extension activities focused on developing facilitation skills, distance learning strategies, and organizational change.  Did research on the role of social capital in community-based development as Fulbright Senior Scholar while on sabbatical in the Philippines; studied the role of people’s organizations in strengthening civil society in the uplands.

Wheaton College - Director, Extension and Continuing Education (1986 – 1990)

Defined program direction, developed media courses, marketed distance learning programs, and managed department staff.  Developed, promoted, and led continuing education workshops and seminars for adult learners.  Taught graduate courses on adult education, community development, and cross-cultural education.  

MAP International - Africa Regional Director, Nairobi, Kenya (1984 – 1986)

Established and managed MAP's Africa regional program, recruited and trained international staff, initiated and conducted training seminars throughout the region on rural development, cross-cultural education, and the training-of-trainers. 

MAP International - Director of Training and Nonformal Education, (1981-1984)

Led workshops on community-based development and cross-cultural education.  Designed curricula and published articles on community development.  Provided consultancy services to rural development projects around the world.

University of Maryland - Assistant Professor, Adult Education (1977-1981)

Taught courses on adult/extension education and program evaluation.  Carried out research on adult literacy, led staff development workshops on adult learning, and provided intercultural training for international development organizations.

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) - Project Director, Kikwit, Congo (1973-1976)

Planned and implemented rural development project, selected and trained team of extension/community development staff.  Administered the program and led workshops on adult education, program design, project evaluation, and community development.

Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions and Services, (Kajiji, Congo) - Relief Coordinator and Extension Educator; 1967 - 1969 (U.S. office, Hillsboro, KS)

Administered feeding program in southern Congo.  Responsible for budgeting, purchasing and shipping supplies, and managing the distribution system.   Developed and implemented a community-based, agricultural extension project.

  • Harold Haak – 2012 (Presented by Fresno Compact) 
  • Tabor College Alumni Merit Award - 2007 
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar - 1997-1998 (Cebu, Philippines) 
  • Distinguished Service Award - 1980 (American Assn. for Adult & Continuing Ed.)
  • Tabor College Alumni Medallion Award - 1978 (Outstanding young alumnus)


  • Consulting Editor, Adult Education Quarterly (1992-2002) 
  • Editorial Board, Journal of the Community Development Society (1994-2002) 
  • Serve on various civic boards and committees --- Fresno Business Council, Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, Fresno Education Compact, etc. 
  • Commissioner --- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (2008-present)


Consultant and Trainer - Have served as program design consultant and led workshops and seminars in more than 20 countries on adult education, community development, and cross-cultural education.  Frequent conference speaker.

PUBLICATIONS:      Have written widely on adult education and community development issues.