John W. Byrd is the 22nd president of Simpson College, assuming his duties on June 9, 2005. He and his wife, Nancy, came to Indianola from Evansville, Indiana, where he served as executive vice president at the University of Evansville. In nearly thirty years of working in higher education he has a broad range of experience, bearing responsibility in academic services, planning and strategic services, planning and institutional research, student affairs, financial aid, and enrollment management.
Dr. Byrd is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia where he received both bachelors and masters degrees. He holds a PhD in health education from Southern Illinois University.
Since coming to Simpson, President Byrd has initiated a new strategic thinking and planning process, overseen the implementation of new faculty initiatives, worked to increase diversity on campus, and instituted plans to widen the college’s geographic reach.
He believes strongly in giving back to the community, currently serving as a member of the Indianola Chamber of Commerce, the Indianola Rotary Club, Village Advisory Council, and the Greater Des Moines Committee. He also serves as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and as a member of its Accreditation Review Council.
Mrs. Byrd is employed as vice president and regional employee relations advisor at Fifth Third Bank. She is actively involved with Alpha Chi Omega and the United Way. Dr. Byrd is an avid cyclist and enjoys woodworking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.