Executive Cabinet

The following individuals constitute William Woods University's Executive Cabinet, an advisory body that serves to assist the President and the Board of Trustees in providing leadership in all university activities.

Jahnae Barnett

Jahnae H. Barnett

President Jahnae H. Barnett began her career with William Woods University in 1973. She is the university’s longest-serving president, having been inaugurated in 1990. She is also WWU’s first female president. After receiving a B.S.E. degree at Arkansas State University, she earned an M.B.E. and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. She served as a faculty member and chair of the business and economics division of William Woods from 1973 to 1983. She then served the university as vice president of admissions, retention, and development from 1983 to 1990.

Scott Gallagher

Scott T. Gallagher

University Vice President


A member of the WWU Executive Cabinet and an alumnus of the University of Missouri, Scott has worked extensively with the president and board of trustees since his arrival at WWU in 2002. He serves as the primary major gifts officer while providing leadership among the Executive Cabinet and holding primary responsibility for the university's physical plant, IT department, and admissions functions. Before joining William Woods, he served as a U.S. Senate staffer, a bank examiner, a cabinet secretary and director of programs for the governor of Rhode Island. Scott has also led two travel agencies.


Daniel Diedriech

Daniel C. Diedriech

Vice President of University Advancement


A member of the William Woods community since March, 2013, Dan brings 25 years of senior University Advancement experience to his position. He holds both a master's of arts degree and bachelor's of journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has also received national accreditation through the Public Relations Society of America. Dan has worked in television news and held leadership positions with three additional institutions of higher education. Dan is responsible for overall management of development, alumni relations and marketing/university relations.


Sherry McCarthy

Sherry McCarthy

Vice President, Dean of Academic Affairs


A member of the WWU Executive Cabinet, Sherry has been academic dean since 2005. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she is a tenured faculty member in education with professor rank and doctoral faculty status. A WWU faculty member since 1996, Sherry holds three degrees from the University of Arkansas: a B.S.E. in English/Biology, an M.E. in Secondary Education/Biology, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership College Teaching. In addition, she earned Certification in Gifted Education at Arkansas Tech University. She was selected for the Delta State Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Excellence in Education Award in 2007.

Venita Mitchell

Venita Mitchell

Vice President, Dean of Student Life


A member of the WWU Executive Cabinet, Venita has been with William Woods since 1998. She held positions as director of leadership and interim athletic director before becoming vice president and dean of student life. Venita worked in student life at Rhodes College, the University of Kansas and Millsaps College. She has her bachelor's and master's degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She completed a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Higher and Continuing education from the University of Missouri.

Sarah Munns

Sarah Munns

Dean of Admissions


A member of the WWU Cabinet, Sarah joined the undergraduate admissions team in September of 2009. Before coming to The Woods, she was an account executive at MOHELA (Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority). Previously she was the assistant director of enrollment services and assistant director of financial aid at Westminster College and an admissions counselor at Central Methodist University. Sarah earned her B.S. from Central Methodist University.

Jason Vittone Head Shot

Jason Vittone

Director, Intercollegiate Athletics


A member of the WWU cabinet, Jason was named director of intercollegiate athletics in September 2011. He began working at William Woods in January 2007, when he was named sports information director and Champions of Character coordinator. He was named assistant director of intercollegiate athletics in the summer of 2011.
Jason is a graduate of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, where he earned his bachelor's of science degree in secondary physical education, with minors in history and coaching. He completed a master's of science degree in health, physical education and recreation at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas.

Mike Westerfield

Michael W. Westerfield

Vice President and Dean of the Graduate College, Director of Accreditation Processes


A member of the WWU Executive Cabinet, Mike joined the administration at William Woods University in the summer of 2009. Previously he served as provost and then president of Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska. He has led more than 40 accreditation teams for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and has served on a number of different committees and panels for the commission.

Kenda Shindler

Kenda E. G. Shindler

Executive Assistant to the President, Coordinator of Legal Affairs


Kenda Shindler graduated from WWU in 1981, with a B.A. in Business Administration. Prior to accepting her current position in 1992, she worked for nearly 14 years in the legal field in both civil practice and criminal prosecution. Kenda and her husband, Mike, reside in Fulton. They have two daughters who are also graduates of William Woods University.