He will succeed Harold E. Newman, who in June of last year announced his plans to retire from the presidency.
Newman became Shorter College's 18th president on Jan. 26, 2006. At the time of his appointment, he had served the college as provost for 20 years under four presidents and had served as interim president since Jan. 1, 2005.
"Dr. Donald Dowless has strong credentials in the areas of Christian commitment, higher education administration, fundraising, and ministry," said Shorter University Trustee Chairman Dr. Nelson Price. "The integration of faith and learning is the foundation of his accomplishments as he has risen through the academic ranks. He knows academia inside and out, and what is most impressive about Dr. Dowless is his love for the Lord and his desire to honor Him with all his heart, soul, and mind. His passion for seeing students grow strong in the Christian faith and for knowing their academic disciplines is evident. We are grateful for the progress Shorter University has made under Dr. Newman's leadership, and we are sure to keep the momentum of success under our new leader, Dr. Donald Dowless."
Dowless is currently serving his fifth year as vice president for academic affairs at North Greenville University in South Carolina. Having earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Baylor University in 1989, Dowless began his academic career as an assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University. He rose through the ranks by becoming chair of the Department of Religion, then dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and then associate provost. In June 2006, he was named vice president for academic affairs at North Greenville University. At both North Greenville and Charleston Southern, Dr. Dowless served on SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation leadership teams and helped lead the two institutions through successful 10-year reaffirmation processes. He also helped acquire the largest single scholarship endowment at Charleston Southern, approximately $500,000 from Charleston Heights Baptist Church. Throughout his career, Dr. Dowless has supported athletic programs as avenues for education and ministry.
Dowless holds the Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In December 2009, he earned the Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University with an emphasis in fundraising and marketing.
An ordained minister, Dowless has served as a supply pastor, as a pastor, and as a guest speaker at Baptist Pastor's Conferences and at Baptist Associations. He and his wife, Teresa, are dedicated to global missions and have led mission trips. He has taken part in mission trips, study tours and travel experiences in Mexico, Romania, Hungary, England, Scotland, Canada, Germany, the Caribbean, Guatemala, Costa Rica, France, and the Czech Republic.