The Leadership Team for Lindenwood University consists of senior leaders from our campuses and sites.
Marilyn Abbott, Ph.D.
Provost / Vice President, Academic Affairs
Dr. Marilyn Abbott has served as the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs since 2015. Her responsibilities include oversight of all academic programs and personnel, as well as maintaining state, regional, and national academic accreditations. Prior to assuming the role of Provost, Dr. Abbott served as Associate Provost and as Dean of the School of Sciences. As a Professor of Biology she taught courses for General Education students and for Biology majors. Before joining Lindenwood University, Dr. Abbott was involved in biological research in corporate and university settings.
Deb Ayres, Ed.D.
Vice President, Human Resources
Dr. Deb Ayres has served in her role since 2013. Her responsibilities include leadership and oversight of HR, benefits, and payroll functions for approximately 2,500 full and part time employees. Prior to leading HR functions for the university, Dr. Ayres served the Lindenwood School of Education as an Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Educational Leadership Department. She worked primarily with graduate students wishing to become school superintendents and principals. Her areas of expertise include human resources management, employee development and evaluation, and leadership. Prior to joining the faculty at Lindenwood, Dr. Ayres served as an Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources in the Kirkwood School District for 18 years.
Vice President, Advancement and Communications
Orrie Covert has approximately 20 years of experience in higher education, the majority of which have been in senior leadership positions. He has held positions at Syracuse University, Northwest Missouri State, the University of Florida at Gainesville, the University of Missouri, and most recently the University of Texas at Tyler, where he served as vice president for advancement for two years. He has been a part of numerous successful fundraising initiatives, including billion-dollar capital campaigns at the University of Missouri and the University of Florida, respectively, and realized the largest cash gift, $2.1 million, in the history of Northwest Missouri State. As vice president for advancement and communications, he manages the development, alumni, marketing, and communications functions of the university.
Diane Moore, Ed.D.
Vice President, Operations
Dr. Diane Moore is the vice president for operations and has been in her role since September of 2017. Dr. Moore oversees all campus operations including development and implementation of the procurement process, oversight of Public Safety, Facilities, Housekeeping and Grounds Departments in addition to mailroom, vending and food services. Prior to her current role, she had been assistant vice president for facilities. Dr. Moore has more than 20 years of dedicated experience in financial and facilities management in educational and government institutions. She was assistant superintendent and COO of Webster Groves School District as well as an adjunct instructor at Southwest Baptist University and Lindenwood University. She was an account executive at SMART, Inc., a role in which she consulted with school districts and hospitals to design and implement healthcare programs. While at SMART, INC., Dr. Moore developed fiscal studies and revenue projections for school districts to implement state and federal Medicaid programs. In addition to those roles, Moore worked in the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as the director of desegregation services and, later, assistant to the commissioner of education. She was also a legislative analyst in the Missouri Department of Revenue.
Coordinator, Title IX
Kelly Moyich is the Title IX coordinator at Lindenwood University. Moyich comes to Lindenwood from the Circuit Attorney’s Office for the City of St. Louis, where she served as an assistant circuit attorney in the armed offender unit. Her work in that role included evaluating and prosecuting homicides, assaults, and robberies along with extensive jury trial work.
Prior to that, Moyich worked in the office of the 21st Judicial Circuit Clerk and as a public defender for the State of Missouri in the Clayton and City of St. Louis trial offices, where she handled all aspects of client representation, supervised 11 attorneys, and trained and directed new attorneys in all aspects of criminal procedure.
In her role as Title IX coordinator, Moyich is responsible for ensuring that the university is in compliance with Title IX regulations. The regulations prohibit discrimination on basis of sex by any educational institution that receives federal funds. This involves education of students, faculty, and staff regarding the sexual misconduct policy and ensuring proper and timely procedures are followed when an incident is reported.
Moyich earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in May 2003. In 2000, she earned a Bachelor of Science in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
John Plunkett joined Lindenwood in October 2013 as Controller, and has served as the Internal Auditor since November 2017. The Internal Auditor role reports functionally to the Board of Trustees and administratively to the President. His responsibilities include, but are not limited to, assessing risks (strategic and operational), ensuring compliance with relevant laws and statutes, identifying shortfalls or gaps in processes, and advising management as regarding compliance and policy issues.
John has over 15 years of internal audit and public accounting experience. John holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oakland City University (1995), a MBA from Lindenwood University (2015), and two certifications from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA): Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). John is currently working on earing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.
Renee Porter has served as Belleville Campus Provost since 2015. Prior to this position, Renee served as a Management Professor, Department Chair and Associate Dean in the Plaster School of Business in St. Charles, Missouri. Porter also serves as a peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Porter has a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University, an MBA from SIU-Edwardsville, B.S. from the University of Mississippi, A.S. from the Community College of the Air Force and A.S from Hinds Community College. She is an Air Force veteran and prior business experiences include director of online business programs at Webster University, president and co-owner of Advanced Billing Systems, Inc., and Human Resources Development Manager with McDonnell Douglas Missile Systems. Renee began her interest in higher education serving as an adjunct instructor since 1993 across several universities in the metro Saint Louis area.
Renee has been married to her husband Dan for 31 years. They have three daughters, Jennifer, Dana and Gina and two grandchildren, Zoe and Graydon.
T.J. Rains, MSIT, PMP
Vice President, Information Technology & Chief Information Officer
TJ Rains has served as the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer since 2015. He is responsible for leading the Information Technology team in delivering relevant, well managed IT services to the faculty, staff, and students of Lindenwood University. Serving on the President’s Cabinet, Mr. Rains works collaboratively with institutional leadership to ensure proper alignment between technology strategic/operational plans and university goals and strategic goals/objectives. Prior to serving as Vice President for Information Technology at Lindenwood University, Mr. Rains served in executive leadership roles at Cardinal Stritch University and Emporia State University.
Vice President, Fiscal Affairs
Mr. Frank Sanfilippo joined Lindenwood University in 2017. As Vice President of Fiscal Affairs, Frank is responsible for all financial matters of the University. He directs treasury, budgeting, audit, tax, and financial reporting activities for the university. Prior to his current role, Mr. Sanfilippo most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Enterprise Financial Services Corp. in St. Louis from 2013 to 2016. In that role, he led the strategic planning and management oversight for technology, bank operations, facilities, and risk management over a staff of 80. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2013.
Brad Wachler, JD
Vice President, Inter-Collegiate Athletics
Mr. Brad Wachler has served in his role since 2016. He oversees Lindenwold’s comprehensive intercollegiate athletics and Student Life Sports (SLS) program, which is comprised of 27 NCAA sports, 25 SLS programs, and approximately 1,400 student-athletes. As the Vice President for Inter-Collegiate Athletics, Mr. Wachler is responsible for shaping and building the department’s reputation on an institutional, local, conference, and national level. Mr. Wachler serves as the system president’s appointed administrative liaison to the Board of Director’s Athletics Committee.
Terry Whittum, M.S.
Senior Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Engagement
Mr. Terry Whittum previously served as Vice President of Enrollment management from 2017 to 2019 when his title transitioned to Senior Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Engagement. In his role, Mr. Whittum oversees key aspects of the Lindenwood student experience from the University’s first contact through graduation, which includes Admissions, Student Financial Services, Student and Academic Support, Billing, Student life, and Diversity. Mr. Whittum has over 30 years of enrollment management experience, most recently at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, and the Boston Conservatory in Massachusetts. He has also worked as a senior consultant for a major enrollment management firm.