Dave Wolk came to the presidency of Castleton in December 2001 after intertwined careers in education and government. He has been a guidance counselor and teacher, principal of Barstow Memorial School in Chittenden, principal of Rutland High School, superintendent of schools in Rutland City, and Vermont's Commissioner of Education. He was a Vermont state senator and Governor Howard Dean's chief of policy.
As the longest-serving President in Castleton's history he has overseen an increased involvement by the university in the local community and an expanded commitment to civic engagement and service learning. New construction during his tenure has included residence halls, fitness centers, athletic facilities, and the purchase and renovation of the Spartan Arena in Rutland Town, offering recreational and cultural opportunities to the broader region. Most recently Wolk has ushered in new lighted tennis courts, a facilities barn, the renovation of Huden Dining Hall, the construction of Hoff Hall, a LEED Gold certified residence hall with room for more than 160 students, and the impressive Castleton Pavilion, the largest indoor-outdoor venue of its kind in the state of Vermont.
The completion of the projects during the 2013-14 academic year resulted in a total of nearly $75 million invested in university infrastructure improvements since the inauguration of the Master Plan in 2002.
The 2013-14 academic year also saw the inauguration of “Castleton on the Move,” a strategic plan and blueprint for the next ten years of the university. Highlighted by new and enhanced graduate programs, the plan also includes incremental enrollment growth, a focus on international enrollment, and increased opportunities for students in Rutland through entrepreneurial ventures such as the Castleton Downtown Gallery, the Castleton Polling Institute, and Castleton Downtown.
President Wolk was born and grew up in Rutland. He graduated from Rutland High School and then Middlebury College with a degree in political science. He earned a master's degree in educational administration and planning at UVM and a certificate of advanced graduate study at Harvard University. During his professional career he has served on more than 40 boards and commissions and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and as a member of the board of Green Mountain Power.