Dr. Richard Ellis

Office of Academic Affairs Administration

Richard EllisDr. Richard Ellis

Dean of John Brown University's Graduate School


Dr. Ellis has been Dean of The Graduate School at John Brown University since 2004, during which time the Graduate School has grown in faculty, facilities, programs and enrollment. Today JBU’s Graduate School offers master’s degrees on campus, online and at our educational centers in Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock and Fort Smith in the fields of counseling, business, leadership and education

Dr. Ellis’s service to the higher educational community extends beyond John Brown University. As a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission he participates in accreditation visits to other college campuses regularly and served as a member of the Commission's Accreditation Review Council. He served on the Leadership Council of the Christian Adult Higher Education Association (CAHEA), including two years as CAHEA president, and on the original Steering Committee for the CCCU Center for Research in Adult Learning. Prior to coming to JBU he held faculty and administrative positions at colleges in Michigan and Virginia. 

In 1993 Dr. Ellis initiated JBU’s bachelor’s degree completion program for adult learners, a program he directed for 17 years. He serves as Project Manager for the University’s five-year $2 million Title III grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. He served as senior editor and contributing author of New Directions for Higher Education (Fall 2012) which addressed the organizational structures of adult studies programs in private colleges.

A native of Chicago, Dean Ellis spent his early years living in suburban Chicago, Mexico City and Detroit. He earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration from The University of Michigan, a M.Div. degree from Biola University and a bachelor's degree from William Tyndale College.

His work in higher education has allowed him to travel to China, Hong Kong, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Dr. Ellis is an advocate for international learning opportunities for JBU’s graduate students. 

Dr. Ellis and his wife Carol have five children and three grandsons.

Contact Dr. Ellis by email: rellis@jbu.edu