Economic Impact of RiverPark Campus Estimated to be $21 Million Annually

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A study shows the economic impact of Columbus State University’s RiverPark campus in downtown Columbus is estimated to be more than $21 million annually.

The analysis was done by professor Ben Blair, the Sarah T. Butler Distinguished University Chair in Business and Finance and Director of the Butler Center for Business and Economic Research in CSU’s Turner College of Business. The report was finalized in spring 2015.

Current expenditures by the university on its downtown campus supports 227 jobs annually and provides $11.2 million in labor income annually. Combine that with spending by students who live in CSU housing downtown and the “output” or economic impact of CSU’s RiverPark campus is $21.5 million a year, Blair says.

“The recurring personnel and non-personnel expenditures by the university and the expenditures by students who are housed at the RiverPark campus generate significant on-going impact,” Blair said. “The annual economic impact of $21.5 million is over and above the amount CSU has spent since the early 1990s on building purchases and renovations downtown.”

Columbus and Columbus State University has been recognized for years for their partnerships that have helped revitalize downtown Columbus. Groups from other cities and states frequently visit to see what’s happening here, and in 2011 two nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving Columbus’ downtown area, Uptown Columbus, Inc., and Business Improvement District, recognized the university with its fourth annual Rozier Dewylder Leadership Award, presented annually to an individual or entity that embodies the vision and energy of Dewylder, a Columbus architect credited with launching the revitalization of the area now known as Uptown.

Blair tracked CSU’s efforts to develop a presence in downtown back to a 1995 decision by the Board of Regents to allow the Schwob School of Music to move. The next year CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center opened. Two years later, the university acquired the Rankin building, clearing the way for the first students to live downtown.

Today, more than 450 students live on CSU’s RiverPark campus, which is also home to the university’s College of the Arts. Soon, CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions will also move downtown, bringing an additional 1,800 faculty, staff and students.


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President Bush and Family Among Highlights of CSU’s Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum

COLUMBUS, Ga. — President George W. Bush and his wife Laura made return appearances to Columbus State University’s Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum  and, this time with daughter Barbara leading a Q&A session, entertained the sold-out audience with memories, stories and learned lessons of leadership.

The trio spoke for about an hour to a sold-out audience of about 1,250 people attending the 10th anniversary of the forum, held Aug. 25 and 25. With Barbara asking most of the questions, President and Mrs. Bush kept the audience enthralled with quips and stories from their time in the White House, the importance of faith and family, memories from the Sept. 11 attacks, life after leaving Washington, D.C., their work today with the George W. Bush Institute and Barbara’s Global Health Corps, and lessons they have learned about leadership.

“It was a pleasure to return to the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum for its 10th anniversary,” President Bush said Monday night. “I appreciate my friends Jimmy and Sis Blanchard, Columbus State University, and its Leadership Institute for inviting Laura, Barbara, and me and giving us the chance to talk about leadership and share some stories from our time in the White House.”

The Bush family was one of the highlights of the 10th annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, hosted by the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University. The conference continued with a lineup of the best and brightest minds in the world.

The first day pastor, coach and author Tom Mullins, who talked about the need for leaders to think like a coach, not a boss; and Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author who provided stories of leadership from some of America’s leading presidents.

Second day speakers included Shana Young, director of the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University, who shared her top 10 leadership lessons; Scott Harrison, founder of Charity Water, who showed how stories and pictures can help power a movement; Daniel Pink, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author who said sales persuasion and moving others has changed more in the past 10 years than in the past 100 because information is now so readily available to consumers; John Maxwell, a world-renowned leadership expert, speaker and author who said intentional living is the key to success in life; James Dunne, Senior managing principal, Sandler O’Neill + Partners, LP, who told how he and his company persevered after losing 66 of its 171 partners and employees in the World Trade Center attacks; Simon Sinek, Author, speaker and visionary thinker who explained the physiological responses the body has to good leadership and why it is so important for employees to feel valued by their organization; Ken Blanchard, a business author and management expert, who talked about the need for humility and servant leaders; and finaly and General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan; who talked about the leadership and change lessons he has learned, including that being efficient — as military units often are — is no longer enough; leaders and teams also must have adaptability.

For the second year, faculty, staff and students with a valid CSU ID could watch most of the forum live via simulcast from the University Hall Auditorium.

“We were thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the forum with such a stellar lineup of powerful speakers,” said Ed Helton, executive director of leadership development. “With the support of the university and sponsors Synovus, TSYS, AT&T and WC Bradley, we have been able to consistently secure world-class leaders.”

Next year’s forum is slated for Sept. 12 and 13, 2016.

Featured speakers include Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal and New York Times best-selling author; Bonnie St. John, the first African-American to win medals in Winter Paralympic competition as a ski racer; Ajaypal Singh Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard; Bill Curry, an author, motivational speaker and former football coach; Henry Cloud, clinical psychologist, leadership expert and best-selling author; Tommy Spaulding, world-renowned speaker, New York Times best-selling author and former CEO; and Jim Nantz, sportscaster.

For more about the forum, visit

Ed Helton, CSU's executive director of leadership development, closed out Monday's Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum with a few questions for Barbara Bush, President George Bush and Laura Bush. Photo by Southern Exposure Photography.

Ed Helton, CSU’s executive director of leadership development, at the 10th anniversary of CSU’s Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum with a few questions for Barbara Bush, President George Bush and Laura Bush. Photo by Southern Exposure Photography.



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Activities, Renovations Welcome Back CSU Students on Monday

COLUMBUS, Ga — Columbus State University’s fall 2015 semester starts Monday with more than 8,000 students again beginning classes on the university’s main and RiverPark campuses.

By the end of the weekend, about 1,300 students will have moved into on-campus housing, and several major projects will have been completed for their use.

CSU students will find a brand-new cafeteria in the Davidson Student Center. CSU’s dining partner, Aramark, funded a $2.7 million renovation to provide not only updated features and increased capacity, but new dining options, including enclosed patio seating, all-new kitchen equipment, a smoker, double-decker pizza oven and a Mongolian grill.

One of the oldest classroom buildings on campus, Howard Hall, opens again after a yearlong $4 million renovation while neighboring Arnold Hall closes in preparation for a similar makeover. State appropriations funded both projects.

Work will continue throughout fall semester on a new 539-bed first-year housing complex on main campus and a new downtown home for the College of Education and Health Professions. Each project is estimated to cost about $25 million.

In addition to the various renovations taking place across campus, the university has a series of events planned to welcome back students, orient them with campus life and help them connect with each other, the community and CSU faculty and staff.

Upcoming highlights:

— Monday, Aug. 17 (First Day of Classes) –  RiverPark Picnic @ Woodruff Park, 5- 10 p.m.;
— Wednesday, Aug. 19 – Main Campus Picnic and Student Organizations Fair. Clock tower, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.;
— Thursday, Aug. 20 – Freshman Convocation, the formal, ceremonial welcome-back ceremony featuring CSU President Chris Markwood. University Hall Auditorium, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.;
— Thursday, Aug. 20 – Campus Bike Ride and Color Party downtown at Woodruff Park. (Riders meet on the Lumpkin Center lawn), 4:30- 8:30 p.m.; and
— Saturday, Aug. 22 – CSU Day of Service where students and employees fan out through the community to help on various projects. Volunteers meet at the Mock Pavilion (Intramural Field), 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Visit for a full list of student welcome-back activities.

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CSU Monitoring Ebola Information

healthyColumbus State University is monitoring Ebola information from statewide and national sources. While there is no reason to think Georgia or Columbus is at any risk, CSU administrators and health officials on campus have been talking regularly, sharing information and making contingency plans.

Anyone in the Columbus State University community who has any concerns about the Ebola virus is encouraged to contact the Columbus Health Department (706-321-6300) or CSU’s Student Health Services (Main Campus – 706-507-8620; RiverPark Campus – 706-507-8347). CSU health officials are in frequent contact with state and national officials and have established protocols for monitoring students and recommending to the Dean of Students if any action needs to be taken. If any situation arises at CSU that needs coordinated action, a Centers for Disease Control  response team will take over, and direct local officials to determine what — if any – steps need to be taken on this campus.

Below are some valuable resources for the CSU Community:

  • A recent letter from Georgia Department of Public Health to Georgia Educators (pasted below)


As you know, national and international health authorities are working to control a large, ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in several countries in West Africa, with the current epicenter in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. With significant numbers of students from West Africa in Georgia’s universities and colleges, it is necessary to provide guidance and recommendations to the educational community and as the holiday season approaches, students and faculty will travel home and then back to campus.  Public Health relies on the vigilance of a vast array of informed contributors beyond our traditional medical providers to report diseases, and therefore are asking the following of you: 

(1) Be aware of students and their families, faculty and staff members or visitors who have traveled to Ebola‐affected West African countries, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea within the previous 21 days.

(2) Know the signs and symptoms of Ebola, which may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola and include:

      • Fever greater than 101.5°F
      • Severe headache
      • Muscle pain
      • Weakness
      • Diarrhea
      • Vomiting
      • Abdominal pain
      • Unexplained, unusual bleeding or bruising

(3) If someone presents to your campus health clinic with a fever, immediately ask if they have traveled to or come into contact with someone who has traveled to an Ebola affected region.

(4) If you encounter individuals who you believe meet the case definition described in (1) and (2) or (3), immediately separate the individual from contact with others and report it to the Department of Public Health at 1‐866‐PUB‐HLTH or the DPH Epidemiology section at 404‐657‐2588.

(5) Hand washing is still the best, most effective method at your disposal to protect you from the spread of infectious disease.  

DPH strongly encourages each school to review its infection control policies and procedures with faculty and staff.  In addition, DPH recommends reinforcement of healthy germ stopping habits with students.  Please refer to the webpages below for current information related to the Ebola outbreak and for infection prevention tips and flyers related to hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, and other tips to limit the spread of infection.‐prevention‐tips‐staying‐healthy

Should you have questions, please feel free to contact the Department of Public Health at 1‐866‐PUB‐HLTH or the Epidemiology section at 404‐657‐2588.

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CSU, Alumni Association Honors Graduates and Friends Wednesday During Homecoming Week

Alumni Awards program coverCOLUMBUS — Columbus State University’s Alumni Association will honor four distinguished graduates and two valued alumni associate friends Wednesday evening during the Annual Alumni Awards Program, part of this year’s homecoming festivities.After the recognition program, CSU will honor former Columbus Mayor Robert “Bob” Poydasheff for his community service, support of the university and his contributions to CSU, his community and his country.This year’s alumni recognition program is on Wednesday (10/22) at 6:30 p.m. in the President’s Club at the Lumpkin Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, will honor:•    For Alumni Service, Paul Holmer-Monte, a test consultant on the Clearing and Settlement System for the TSYS Merchant Segment. In 1996, he joined CSU’s Intellectual Partnership Program that began Holmer-Monte’s legacy with the university and with TSYS. In addition to his business pursuits, Holmer-Monte actively contributes to his community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Russell County Child Advocacy Center and as the leader of the Strategic Development and Facilities Committee. Holmer-Monte has served on the Alumni Board for Columbus State University since 2005, served as president of the Alumni Association from August 2012 to October 2013, and is an active Tower Society member. Holmer-Monte is currently assisting CSU to launch the Friends of Honors College Committee which aims to foster unique partnerships that include alumni, parents, and friends of the college.•    For Excellence in Alumni Achievement, Dr. Peter D. Rumm, a special project medical officer in the Division of Orthopedics and formerly the Deputy/Clinical Director of the Divisions of Surgical, Orthopedic, and Restorative Devices, Office of Device Evaluation, and Center for Devices and Radiological Health in the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Rumm has also served as a special advisor to the assistant secretary for health and was a White House level appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Terrorism while he served as a state epidemiologist, chief medical officer, and lead state health officer for Wisconsin. He has received more than 30 military and public health commendations, medals, and has served on over a dozen federal or international committees promoting preparation and awareness for dealing with health issues arising from conflict and natural disasters worldwide. Dr. Rumm graduated magna cum laude from CSU with a Bachelor of Science in 1981. Since then, he has made innumerable contributions to the field of medicine and continues to distinguish himself in the community, the country, and the world for his service.•    As outstanding Young Alumni:o    Jason (Jay) Alexander, a 2001 graduate and the current CEO and president of Alexander Electric Co. After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from Columbus State University, Alexander assumed leadership of one of the country’s largest and most respected electrical contracting companies, which was established by his grandfather in 1948. An active supporter of the arts, charities, youth organizations, and community projects, Alexander is a committed and active community volunteer and serves on the board of directors for various organizations. Alexander has been selected as a presenter for the 2014-2015 D. Abbott Turner College of Business Executive Speaker Series based on his exemplary performance in business and his commitment to the community.o    Gina Sederstrom, a 2011 graduate who now works as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. After earning her bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in marketing, she began a business career while also pursuing her passion for service and her willingness to help her community by providing invaluable financial guidance.  Sederstrom also works as both a chartered retirement planning counselor at the College for Financial Planning and a registered financial advisor for the Finance Industry Regulatory Authority. Sederstrom is an active alumna of Columbus State University and is very involved with Young Professionals, the Chamber of Commerce, and Historic Columbus.

•    For Distinguished Military Service, Col. Barry Creed (Ret.).
Creed serves as an exemplary model of selfless leadership in his community as well as his country. Before he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army, Creed served as a police officer and a field training officer in Columbus from 1978 to 1983. During his tenure in the military, Creed contributed his management expertise through various positions within different divisions in the military, including the United States Joint Forces Command, Battalion Commander, Counterdrug Action Officer, Chief of Joint Operations Center, and Operations Officer. He recently served at the Joint Chiefs of Staff-Force Coordination Division, through which he carried out the multi-faceted roles of deputy chief, force analysis branch, and joint staff. Over the course of his career in the United States Army, Creed was awarded two Bronze Star Medals for his wartime service in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2012, Creed was also awarded the Department of Defense’s Joint Meritorious Service Medal. Creed earned both a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and Bachelor of Science in general studies from Columbus State University.

•    For Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award, Derek Olson, lead web developer for University Information & Technology Services department, where he designs, implements, and maintains CSU’s 150+ websites. He provides primary support and training for faculty, staff, and students in the use of CSU’s content management system, allowing departmental personnel the opportunity to edit their websites directly using a graphic user interface. He was instrumental in the domain implementation, as well as every other major website update put into place over the past five years. He has been with CSU since 2009 and has worked as a web developer since 2003, previously employed by a web and publishing firm in Olympia, Washington.

Following the Alumni Association’s program, the university will present “Cougar Madness,” the ceremonial start to the basketball season that also serves as a pep rally of sorts for all CSU Athletics. During this event, Columbus State University will recognize the Honorable Robert S. Poydasheff, former mayor of Columbus and a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, for his “incredible array of contributions to our university, this community and the nation,” said CSU President Tim Meson. Poydasheff served as mayor of Columbus from 2003 through 2006, after serving on Columbus City Council from 1994 through 2002. It was during this time that Columbus State University began to develop its RiverPark campus downtown. Poydasheff has been a longtime supporter of CSU athletics and has been a board member of the CSU Athletic Fund for more than 30 years.

Anyone interested in attending the Alumni Recognition Awards Program and/or Cougar Madness is asked to email Visit for a full listing of Homecoming activities during the week.


SOURCE: Jennifer Joyner, director of CSU’s Office of Alumni Engagement, at 706-507-8956 or by email at

WRITER: John Lester, University Relations, 706-507-8725/JLester@
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EPA Awards Grant to Columbus State Student Researchers to Help Design Sustainable Technologies

water researchATLANTA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded two universities in Georgia with the People, Prosperity, and Planet (P3) award Thursday. Nationally the grants were awarded to 42 teams of college and university students. The teams will design innovative solutions to sustainable challenges in the developed and developing world.

Columbus State University was one of the two Georgia universities to win an award, garnering $14,559 to create an economic model to estimate the dollar value of different configurations of algal treatment systems.

The research – being conducted by CSU students in business and environmental sciences courses – will produce realistic financial estimates to evaluate the cost-benefits of using algae to treat wastewater and create biofuel. “A thorough sensitivity analysis of the costs and benefits of algal treatment will enable us to identify economic challenges that stand in the way of wide-spread use of this promising technology,” said the proposal, which will be guided by Troy Keller, associate professor of environmental science, and Andres Jauregui, assistant professor of economics.

Former P3 teams awarded these EPA grants have used their winning ideas to form small businesses and non-profit organizations. Environmental Fuel Research, a 2008 P3 winner from Drexel University, incorporated their grease waste-trap biofuel technology into a business enterprise and won a $100,000 EPA Small Business Innovation Research Phase I award this year. This woman-owned startup, headquartered in a historically underutilized business (HUB) zone to encourage economic development, has the potential to revolutionize domestic biodiesel capacity in the United States.

In addition to Columbus State University, the 2014-2015 school year awardees included a project from Southern Polytechnic State University (now Kennesaw State University) called “Achieving increased photovoltaic panel energy collection with cell-strings that track the sun.”

Since 2004, the P3 Program has provided funding to student teams in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, committing over $10 million to cutting-edge, sustainable projects designed by university students. Projects from this year’s teams include a new device for generating electricity from sunlight that could be used on exterior walls of buildings; extending the growing season for farmers by heating greenhouses with biomass; and reducing diesel emissions for vehicles while lowering costs and improving fuel economy.

Funding for the P3 projects is divided into two phases. In the first phase, student teams submit a proposal for a project, and if they are selected, they compete with other Phase I winners at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. At the Expo, teams compete for Phase II funding of up to $75,000. This is the 11th year for the EPA P3 Program.


Source: Troy Keller, associate professor of environmental science, 706-507-8099 or

Writer: John Lester, assistant VP for University Relations, 706-507-8725 or

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Magazine Recognizes Columbus State President

CSU President Tim MesconCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University President Tim Mescon finds himself in good company today after being named one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” in the January issue of Georgia Trend magazine.

He’s among about a half dozen university leaders across the state and a separate roster of about the same size of Columbus-area honorees. While others, such as Aflac CEO Dan Amos, are veterans of the list, now in its 14th year, Mescon is a first-timer.


An introduction to the list offers an overview: “The process of developing the list is, for all practical purposes, a yearlong effort, but the editorial staff of the magazine begins deliberation in earnest in the summer months and comes up with the final slate of names in the late fall – subject, of course, to hirings, firings, retirements and the occasional fall from grace.”

Of Mescon, Georgia Trend noted that he’s expanded the “reach” of the university, with more than half of the most recent applicant pool coming from the Atlanta area, where Mescon personally participated in recruiting efforts. It also noted the university’s enrollment increase to 8,300-plus students, the addition of CSU’s first doctorate and an expanded footprint in the local economy.

Mescon had been dean of Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business when he became, in August 2008, the fourth president in CSU’s first half century, selected after an extensive, nationwide search. He’s also served in administrative and business faculty roles at Arizona State University, the University of Miami and Salisbury University in Maryland. The co-author of four books and author of 200-plus journal articles, Mescon has also served in visiting faculty roles in England, China, Romania and Israel.

Since arriving at Columbus State, he’s also been active in the community, overseeing a successful United Way campaign and also serving on the local boards of the Boy Scouts, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts and Fort Benning Futures Partnership Board.

To see who else is on Georgia Trend’s 2012 “power list,” visit a newsstand or

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Photo: Timothy Mescon

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Presidential Inauguration Plans Include Day of Service

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University will officially inaugurate its fourth president on Sunday Aug. 16, and the celebration will begin not with pomp and circumstance, but with paintbrushes and rakes.

Presidential inaugurations typically involve many activities and much fanfare. For this ceremony, however, Timothy S. Mescon — who officially started Aug. 1, 2008 — suggested that students, faculty and staff be invited to participate in a Day of Service to the community.

Working through the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley Volunteer Center, Columbus State is encouraging faculty, staff and students to sign up for their choice of a variety of projects for the morning of Saturday, Aug. 15. CSU buses will be available to take people to the project sites, leaving the main campus intramural field at 9 a.m.

Projects include clearing a site for a new Habitat for Humanity House, renovating a baseball field for the North Columbus Boys and Girls Club and planting shrubs at the D.A. Turner YMCA.

“We’re excited that Dr. Mescon is demonstrating wonderful leadership by engaging CSU faculty, staff and students in a day of volunteer service,” said Scott Ferguson, president of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, Inc. “He understands the needs in our community and knows that volunteers are instrumental in helping meet those needs.”

Shortly after noon, buses will return to the intramural field, where all service day participants are invited to a picnic lunch sponsored by Aramark.

The Presidential Inauguration and 2009 Freshman Convocation will begin at 3 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 16 with a procession of the faculty and delegates from other universities into the Bill Heard Theatre at the RiverCenter for Performing Arts. Mescon’s father, longtime Georgia State University professor Michael Mescon, will be one of the speakers for the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.

Other speakers include Board of Regents Chair Bob Hatcher from Macon, and Chancellor Erroll B. Davis and Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Susan Herbst, of the University System of Georgia.

For the Freshman Convocation portion of the ceremony, Provost Inessa Levi and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Gina Sheeks will officially welcome freshmen into the college academic community.

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Wife of Columbus State University’s Founding President Dies

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Mary Jo Whitley, the wife of Columbus State University’s founding president, died Tuesday at her home near Social Circle, Ga., family members said.

As the university’s first first lady, Mrs. Whitley made a quiet, yet indelible mark on Columbus College, working behind the scenes and beside her husband, Thomas Y. Whitley, from the institution’s founding in 1958 until the Whitleys moved back to Social Circle.

“This is a sad, sad day for Columbus State University,” said CSU President Tim Mescon. “I was honored to have spent some time with her recently, and I can assure you that Mary Jo Whitley was as fine a lady as there ever was. She made an immediate mark on me personally, and I’m sure I will continue to discover ways that she left her mark on this university.”

Mary Jo Whitley, 2008Mrs. Whitley led the Faculty Wives Club as well as numerous other organizations in Columbus and on campus, always stressing the importance and contributions of others. University veterans remember her grace, her smile, her friendliness and the full support she gave to all campus causes and activities. The combination made an immeasurable influence on the institution and community. Columbus State gave both Whitleys honorary degrees in 1998.

“I would maintain that what the Whitleys did was, of course build a college, but they also built a community,” said Frank Brown, president of CSU from 1988-2008. “They built a relationship between the college and the community that stands to this day at a level that has not been reached by any other community that I know of.”

Brown said he and his wife were close friends of the Whitleys and learned to appreciate their impact on the university.

“You can look at everything that’s been developed at the institution and you can see the fingerprints of, not only Tom, but also Mary Jo Whitley,” he said. “When people today talk about the uniqueness of the Shannon Hosiery Mill experience, they are also talking about the uniqueness of Tom and Mary Jo Whitley and how they took ownership of the college and the students and the faculty.”

Ray Lakes was a student when the Whitleys lived in the president’s house, which once stood on the land now home to CSU’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development. Now executive director of the CSU Alumni Association, Lakes said Mary Jo Whitley has been a longtime friend and supporter of the university.

“I have known Mrs. Whitley and the Whitley family for 40 years, since my days as a student at Columbus College,” Lakes said. “Mrs. Whitley was a warm and engaging lady – a true Southern lady in the best sense of the word. She was tall, very graceful and had a warm smile. She served as a gracious hostess at many college events. As the first first lady of CSU, she shared in and enhanced her husband’s work as the College’s founding president. She was and remained a steadfast supporter of CSU and its students. She will truly be missed by all those who loved, admired and respected her.”

Funeral arrangements have been made with Meadows Funeral Home at 760 Highway 11 SW, Monroe, Georgia 30655. Visitation will be held from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, June 25 and a funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 26. Interment will immediately follow at the Social Circle City Cemetery, in Social Circle.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Dr. Thomas Y. Whitley Scholarship Endowment, Columbus State University, 4225 University Avenue, Columbus, GA 31907.

“On behalf of all the members of the Whitley family, I would like to thank you for your support and well-wishes,” Whitley’s son, Joe, said in an e-mail to friends. “It is truly appreciated by us all.”

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Historical Marker Recognizes Site of CSU Founding

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University concluded its 50th anniversary celebration Monday with the dedication of a historical marker at the site of the institution’s founding.

“This marker will be a tangible reminder of the community’s commitment to CSU and CSU’s commitment to the community,” President Tim Mescon said at the brief ceremony alongside Warm Springs Road, a few yards from the site of Columbus College’s first home, in the renovated Shannon Hosiery Mill on Talbotton Road.

Historical marker with President Tim Mescon, Dean Callie McGinnisThe mill was razed in the late 1980s, to make way for what is now Hannan Magnet Academy, a Muscogee County School District school at 1338 Talbotton Road.

Mescon noted that the local Board of Education, Chamber of Commerce officials and others played a role in making it possible for CSU to register its first 265 students in the former mill on Sept. 22, 1958 and begin classes there a week later.

“What I liked so much about the school was that it was small,” said retired teacher Gloria Toelle of Columbus, one of about a half-dozen “Shannon Mill alumni” among the crowd of about 25 who attended Monday’s ceremony. “It was nice to be able to talk to your professors and they knew who you were.”

Mescon noted that it took “a courageous visionary,” businessman Norman Shannon Illges, to make the mill possible as it was one of Columbus’ few industrial startups during the Great Depression. The mill operated successfully from 1939 until the 1955, when Illges sold it to another hosiery manufacturer, Chadbourn Hosiery Mills.

Chadbourn sold the Shannon Hosiery Mill to the local school board in 1958 in a deal that was brokered by George Woodruff Jr., “who remains one of the Columbus area’s most visionary real estate developers,” Mescon said.

In 1963, Columbus College moved 2.5 miles east, to a 157-acre former dairy farm that became today’s main campus. Mescon mentioned that CSU marks another important date in its history this week as the University System of Georgia on May 14, 1958 conditionally accepted the college as part of the system.

The Historic Columbus Foundation and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission both assisted CSU in seeking approval for the historical marker, said Dean of Libraries Callie McGinnis, chair of the 50th Anniversary Committee. The marker was erected as part of the Historic Chattahoochee Commission’s Historical Marker Program.

The marker’s text notes that, today, nearly 300 faculty teach about 8,000 students in more than 50 undergraduate programs and 35 master’s or specialist programs. Combined, about 80 buildings comprise CSU’s main campus and the downtown RiverPark campus, not counting the university’s Spencer House in Oxford, England.

CSU faculty, staff and students cleaned more than 20,000 bricks that were salvaged from the mill’s old smokestack in 1988, and those now line the inner arches of the Thomas Y. Whitley Clock Tower, dedicated in 1991 in honor of CSU’s first president.


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President Tim Mescon and Dean of Libraries Callie McGinnis, chair of CSU’s 50th Anniversary Committee, stand by the new historical marker on Warm Springs Road, near Hannan Magnet Academy. (Photo by John Lester)

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CSU Announces New Strategic Plan

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University President Tim Mescon announced Tuesday the adoption of a new strategic plan, born from a comprehensive, engaged planning process that started last year.

“This new strategic plan does not answer all our questions,” Mescon said. “I fully recognize that in our current economic environment, there are significant challenges ahead. But this plan provides a blueprint for action that builds upon our core values and beliefs and clearly reinforces our goals and objectives.”

Mescon thanked the university family and many community members who participated in the process, which included many meetings and discussions and a survey of more than 1,000 thousand faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“Their input was integral to this process,” he said. “I appreciated very much their contributions and commitment.”

The new plan:



Columbus State University provides world-class education and assures student success through creative inquiry and community, regional, and global partnerships.



• To achieve academic excellence through teaching, research, creative inquiry and student engagement.

• To achieve excellence in the student experience and prepare individuals for a life of success, leadership, and responsibility through community awareness, engagement, and service to others.

• To achieve recognition as a leader in community development, regional economic development, and public-private partnerships.



• Excellence – Commitment to best practices in teaching and learning, scholarship and creative activity, student engagement, cultural enrichment and campus environment
• Engagement – Active civil participation by students, faculty and staff in the university experience
• Creativity – The pursuit of distinction through inquiry and innovation, challenging convention and focusing on solutions
• Servant Leadership – Effective, ethical leadership through empowerment and service
• Inclusion – Fostering and promoting a campus that embraces diverse people, ideas, views and practices
• Sustainability – Commitment to behaviors that recognize and respect our environmental context


Strategic Goals and Objectives

Goal One: Achieve excellence in undergraduate and graduate education to meet student and community needs.


• Pursue and maintain national accreditation for all eligible undergraduate and graduate programs.
• Seek approval for Columbus State University’s first doctoral degree
• Develop and expand opportunities for online degrees and courses.
• Expand educational opportunities throughout the region.
• Develop and expand student and faculty opportunities for international programs, study abroad and the Spencer House.
• Develop, promote and reward faculty/staff performance and achievement.
• Create a College of Fine and Performing Arts that is recognized as a leader in its disciplines.
• Strategically develop and grow graduate programs.
• Recognize and support faculty scholarship and creative activities.
• Expand programs and opportunities for student research.
• Recruit and retain qualified faculty and staff to adequately support the university’s mission.


Goal Two: Increase enrollment to 10,000 students by fall 2011.


• Improve retention, progression and graduation rates.
• Enhance quality of campus life and student academic support services.
• Develop and deliver best-in-class First Year Experience programs.
• Recruit better academically qualified undergraduate and graduate students.
• Expand honors and servant leadership programs.
• Expand participation and ensure success in intramural, club, and NCAA athletics.
• Increase enrollment capacity for core classes while maintaining a quality educational experience.
• Expand the utilization of the RiverPark campus to accommodate a greater number of students.


Goal Three: Create more partnerships with academic institutions, government agencies and businesses consistent with the university’s mission.


• Increase regional economic and community development efforts.
• Improve working relationships with local schools and educational systems on all levels.
• Lead workforce development efforts in this region.
• Encourage, expand and enhance partnerships with community entities.
• Broaden opportunities for experiential learning and civic engagement.


Goal Four: Increase external funding and recognition.


• Increase sponsored research, grants and contracts.
• Increase private funding.
• Expand alumni programs and engagement.
• Crystallize the Columbus State University brand.
• Pursue recognition/ranking in national publications, i.e., U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, etc.


Goal Five: Provide a best-in-class technology platform and information-based services.


• Create 100 percent wireless campus access to technology and information services.
• Promote operational excellence, develop business intelligence, and apply innovative business practices through the use of technology.
• Identify partnerships/alliances with world-class technology enterprises to support technology requirements.
• Maintain a dynamic Web site that effectively serves online visitors and supports campus operations.
• Inspire faculty/staff to use leading-edge technology.
• Promote the libraries to be the premier information resource for CSU community (students, faculty and staff).

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Updated Schedule for Provost Candidates

March 1, 2009

The weather Sunday has forced an alteration in the schedule for the first of the three provost candidates who will be on campus this week.

All flights into Atlanta for Dr. Cathy Barlow were canceled Sunday, but she is re-booked for Monday. So everything will move back one day for her visit.

Her schedule on campus will remain the same, so the visit days for each candidate are:

Dr. Barlow: Monday afternoon & all day Tuesday

Dr. Riordan: Tuesday afternoon & all day Wednesday

Dr. Levi: Wednesday afternoon & all day Thursday.

Each will meet with a variety of campus groups and host an open session for faculty at 12:30 p.m., in the Center for Commerce and Technology Auditorium.

To recap, the Provost Search Committee’s finalists and visit schedule are:

* Cathy L. Barlow, dean of the Watson School of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She will be on campus Monday, March 2.

Dr. Barlow earned her doctorate in leadership/administration from the University of Tulsa, her master’s in special education from Ball State University and her bachelor’s in psychology and education from Milligan College in Tennessee. She has been dean at UNC Wilmington since 2000. Previously, she was a department chair and interim dean at Morehead State University, and dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Evansville. Prior to moving into higher education administration in 1991, she held several administrative positions in public schools, including assistant principal, director and associate superintendent.

* Catherine A. Riordan, vice provost at Central Michigan University. She will be on campus Wednesday, March 4.

Dr. Riordan earned her doctorate in social psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and her bachelor’s in social welfare from Eastern Michigan University. She has been at Central Michigan since 2000, serving first for one year as assistant vice president for curriculum and assessment. Before that, she was at the University of Missouri-Rolla, where she was a professor of psychology, Management Systems director and assistant to the chancellor for Affirmative Action.

* Inessa Levi, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University. She will be on campus Thursday, March 5.

Dr. Levi earned her doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She has been dean at Western Illinois since 2004. Before that, she was at the University of Louisville, where she was a professor, acting chair of the math department and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

—–Provost Finalists’ Agenda—–

Dr. Cathy Barlow – March 2 & 3

Dr. Catherine Riordan – March 3 & 4

Dr. Inessa Levi – March 4 & 5

Day 1

2:30-4:45 Depart Hotel – CSU and community tour

5-6 Reception with President’s Staff and Deans – One Arsenal Place

6:30 Dinner with President Mescon

Day 2

7:15 a.m. Depart hotel

7:30-8:30 Breakfast with President’s Staff – VPBF Conference Room (Richards 216)

8:30-9 Meet with Academic Affairs Team – VPAA Conference Room (Richards 311)

9:15 – 10:15 Meet with Academic Deans – VPAA Conference Room (Richards 311)

10:20 – 11:20 Meet with Department Chairs and Associate/Assistant Deans – CCT Auditorium

11:30 – 12:20 Lunch with Search Committee – CCT 235

12:30 – 1:30 Open Forum with faculty (15 minute presentation) – CCT Auditorium

1:45 – 2:15 Meet with Staff Council – CCT 306

2:25-3:15 Meet with Undergraduate and Graduate student leaders – CCT 205

3:30-4:30 Meet with Faculty Senate – Location TBA

4:45-5:45 Exit interview with President Mescon – Richards 112

6 p.m. Depart campus and return to hotel


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CSU Provost Candidates Visiting Columbus State

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Three finalists to become Columbus State University’s first provost are visiting for a series of interviews.

Each will meet with a variety of campus groups and host an open session for faculty in CSU’s Center for Commerce and Technology auditorium at 12:30 p.m., during which they will make a 15-minute presentation. The Provost Search Committee’s finalists are:

• Cathy L. Barlow, dean of the Watson School of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She will be on campus Tuesday, March 3. Barlow earned her doctorate in leadership/administration from the University of Tulsa, her master’s in special education from Ball State University and her bachelor’s in psychology and education from Milligan College in Tennessee. She has been dean at UNC Wilmington since 2000. Previously, she was a department chair and interim dean at Morehead State University, and dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Evansville. Prior to moving into higher education administration in 1991, she held several administrative positions in public schools, including assistant principal, director and associate superintendent.

• Catherine A. Riordan, vice provost at Central Michigan University. She will be on campus Wednesday, March 4. Riordan earned her doctorate in social psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and her bachelor’s in social welfare from Eastern Michigan University. She has been at Central Michigan since 2000, serving first for one year as assistant vice president for curriculum and assessment. Before that, she was at the University of Missouri-Rolla, where she was a professor of psychology, Management Systems director and assistant to the chancellor for Affirmative Action.

• Inessa Levi, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University. She will be on campus Thursday, March 5. Levi earned her doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She has been dean at Western Illinois since 2004. Before that, she was at the University of Louisville, where she was a professor, acting chair of the math department and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The three were invited to campus after the search committee, assisted by Parker Executive Search, combed through more than 50 applications, and then interviewed 10 candidates.

“We’re very excited about the caliber of the candidates who applied for this position,” said David Rock, dean of CSU’s College of Education and chair of the search committee. “Each candidate has experience with dynamic institutions that are on the rise in the higher education community.”

The university hopes to have the provost in place by July 1.

The provost will serve as Columbus State University’s chief academic officer, with broad responsibility for the overall excellence and vitality of the university’s academic life and programs. The provost leads and manages the Academic Affairs units, which includes academic colleges and offices currently structured as Arts & Letters, the D. Abbott Turner College of Business, Education, Science, University College, CSU Libraries, grants & contracts, and other academic support functions. The provost is a member of the President’s Staff, which includes the vice presidents for student affairs, business and finance, advancement, the chief information officer, the athletic director and the public relations director.

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CSU President Co-Authors Textbook on Entrepreneurship

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A new textbook co-authored by Columbus State University’s president aims to prepare college graduates for work at young companies that need employees who understand new tactics and technology, as well as business basics.

Timothy S. Mescon, who became CSU’s fourth president Aug. 1, worked on Entrepreneurship: Venture Initiation, Management, and Development while he was dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. He collaborated with George S. Vozikis, the Davis D. Bovaird Endowed Chairholder of Entrepreneurial Studies and Private Enterprise at the University of Tulsa, and Howard D. Feldman, associate dean at University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business.

Published by Kennesaw State University Press, the new book proposes that the success of a young company hinges on its entrepreneur executives realizing that “the bricks and mortar days have been replaced with bricks and clicks.”

The 560-page hardback focuses on starting and developing a business, focusing on those components as the “foundation for a discussion that bridges the gap between theory and practice, between talking and doing,” its introduction states. “We’ve also provided the reader an understanding of the research conducted in entrepreneurship”

The book fills a need because business graduates are 80 percent more likely to find work at young entrepreneur-led enterprises than larger, established companies such as those on the Fortune 500. Start-ups employ more 55 percent of the total American workforce.

Dissatisfied with current textbooks on entrepreneurship, the authors wrote the textbook to give students a better theoretical understanding of the concept as well as an applied background that will help outside of the classroom.

“Entrepreneurship education has become a cornerstone in many business schools today,” Mescon said. “We have discussed the need for an applications-oriented text for years and finally determined that the onus was on us to write one. This has been a true labor of love for three colleagues who have known one another for 30 years.”

The book defines an entrepreneur as anyone who is able to transform a simple idea into a moneymaking, successful venture. That transformation follows an “Enterprising Model,” the authors write, and their book explores the four parts of this model:

• Introduction to Entrepreneurship, which discusses the evolution of the entrepreneur and shows how to put together a business plan.

• Venture Initiation, which outlines the development of a framework for the venture’s value concept “niche” idea.

• Venture Management, which is the “ability to execute” once the venture is launched.

• Venture Development, which discusses the question of whether the venture can protect, improve and expand upon its value.

Entrepreneurship: Venture, Initiation, Management, and Development, available through The KSU Press at, is Mescon’s fourth book. He previously collaborated with Vozikis on Cases in Strategic Management: An Industry Approach, his first book, published in 1988. In addition to Mescon’s duties as president, he’s also a professor of management in CSU’s D. Abbott Turner College of Business.

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Regent, USG Administrator Praise Choice for CSU President

The University System of Georgia today announced the appointment of CSU’s next president: Dr. Timothy S. Mescon, dean of the Coles College of Business and the Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Entrepreneurial Management at Kennesaw State University.

You can see the full release online at:

The story, a full biography of Mescon, and more, also are on the CSU Presidential Search Web site at


# # #

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CSU Moves Closer to $16 Million Student Recreation Center

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University students have agreed to help finance a $16 million, 70,000-square foot recreation center that will be a major hub for student life on CSU’s main campus.

Students agreed to a proposed student-fee structure in a recent referendum conducted by the university’s Student Government Association and campus recreation department.

The passage helps clear the way for a facility that could include a general fitness area; a women’s fitness area; two basketball courts; three volleyball courts; two racquetball courts; a multi-purpose court to accommodate indoor soccer, rollerblade hockey and volleyball; an indoor walking-running track; a ballroom; gameroom; lounge area; retail space; aerobic rooms; locker rooms, and office space.

Pending Board of Regents approval, the university will break ground for the project in August 2008. Construction will take 18 to 24 months at a site to be determined with completion and a grand opening in the summer of 2010.

The center would expand and centralize CSU’s student recreation options presently facilitated in the Davidson Student Center, Woodruff Gym and adjacent Health and Safety Center.

“The new facility will be so much more than a fitness center; it will be focal point for campus life that will help us retain our current students and attract others” said Gina Sheeks, vice president for student affairs. “The new center will help establish an environment where our students flourish both academically and socially.”

In addition to funds raised through private sources, the students at CSU will be assessed $85-$100 per semester to build and operate the facility. The fee, which breaks down to $5 per week, will be assessed once ground has been broken for the construction phase.

Fee-paying students who graduate before the center opens will earn six months (per semester fee payment) of free access to the center after they have graduated.

For more information, contact CSU Campus Recreation Director Rick Cravens at 706-568-2273 or go to

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Board of Regents to Meet at CSU This Week

COLUMBUS, Ga. – For the first time in about 15 years, the University System of Georgia’s governing body, the Board of Regents, will be meeting on the Columbus State University campus.

The Regents are a governor-appointed body that oversees 35 colleges and universities across the state, including CSU. In total, these institutions enroll more than 270,000 students and employ approximately 11,000 faculty and 28,600 staff to provide teaching and related services to students and the communities in which they are located.

The board meets about monthly in Atlanta but goes to one of the state’s campuses twice a year for its regular meeting. CSU President Frank Brown invited the Regents to Columbus this year in honor of the university’s 50th anniversary.

“It’s an honor for us to host the Board of Regents and the chancellor of the university system on our campus,” Brown said. “So much has changed here since they last met in Columbus. I hope they will be able to leave here with a sense of how far CSU has progressed and how much we’ve been able to achieve in cooperation with the Columbus community.”

The Regents’ meeting will start at 1 p.m. on Tuesday in CSU’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development and end about lunchtime on Wednesday. The public is invited. A complete agenda for the meeting is available online at

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CSU Presidential Semi-Finalists Come from Six States

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The full roster of semi-finalists to become Columbus State University’s next president encompasses seven higher education administrators from a variety of academic backgrounds and universities in Georgia, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Dr. Thomas J. ‘Tim’ Hynes, vice president for academic affairs at the University of West Georgia, was the first candidate to visit CSU for a variety of interviews and public forums on Wednesday and Thursday, April 9-10. The remaining six, whose names are being released today, will all undergo similar campus visits over the next four weeks, through May 9.

As with Hynes, all candidates will tour both CSU campuses, lunch with students, share their views at two afternoon public forums and meet with administrators and campus groups such as the Faculty Senate. The public forums, all in CSU’s Center for Commerce and Technology auditorium, allow each candidate to present their views in an address at 4 p.m. on the first day of the visit, following up with a question-and-answer session at 3:30 p.m. the next day.

Thomas J. (Tim) HynesHynes has served as vice president for academic affairs at West Georgia since 1996 and has served two terms as acting president, from June 1, 2006-Aug. 10, 2007 and previously during the 1999-2000 academic year. Before arriving in Carrollton, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville for six years, spending the previous 12 years as a faculty member there, including five years as chair of the college’s Faculty Assembly. He is the author or editor of 10 textbooks, and has completed more than 50 publications and scholarly presentations. Hynes received his Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s in speech from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from UMass.

The other semi-finalists, in order of their campus visits and public forums, are:

  • Timothy J. MesconDr. Timothy S. Mescon, dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, April 16-17. Mescon also holds the Tony and Jack Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair at Kennesaw State. Of KSU’s 21,000 students, the Coles College enrolls close to 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students and operates Georgia’s largest executive MBA program. The 2008 edition of Princeton Review named the Coles College one of the best business schools in the nation. Mescon is the author of more than 200 articles and cases and has co-authored three books. Mescon received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, MBA from Southern Methodist University and bachelor’s from Tulane University.
  • Kaylene A. GebertDr. Kaylene A. Gebert , executive vice president and provost of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., April 21-22. Gebert is the chief academic officer of the university and also is responsible for administrative oversight of research activities, the university library, enrollment management initiatives and the chairs of excellence program. Formerly the provost-vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Alabama, she has a Ph.D. in historical and contemporary communication with minors in theatre and Victorian Studies from Indiana University, a master’s in theatre production with minor in public address from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in English and speech-drama and teacher certification from Hanover College.
  • Charles F. HarringtonDr. Charles F. Harrington , provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, April 24-25. Harrington has numerous publications; grants and sponsored research projects; multiple international, national, and regional academic papers and presentations; and a research history that includes publications on American Indian student retention, entrepreneurship education, increasing faculty diversity and faculty professional development. Once employed by the State University of West Georgia (now the University of West Georgia), his Ph.D. is from Ohio University, his master’s is in higher education administration from Drexel University (Pennsylvania), and his bachelor’s in philosophy is from Ohio University.
  • Katherine S. (Kate) Conway-TurnerDr. Katherine S. ‘Kate’ Conway-Turner , provost and vice president of academic affairs at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo, April 28-29. Conway-Turner has numerous peer-reviewed publications and professional presentations related to women’s intergenerational issues, psychology of women and adult development. Formerly the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University, she holds three degrees from the University of Kansas in Lawrence: a bachelor’s in microbiology, a master’s in psychology (social) and a Ph.D. in psychology (social).
  • Patrick J. SchlossDr. Patrick J. Schloss , president of Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., April 30-May 1. Schloss has been president since 2004, coming from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he was acting president in spring 2004, provost and vice president for academic affairs, graduate dean, library dean and assistant vice president for graduate studies and research. He has published 18 textbooks or scholarly books and 120 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals. He earned his bachelor’s in special education and master’s in counseling from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. in rehabilitation psychology-special education from the University of Wisconsin.
  • Jane T. UpshawDr. Jane T. Upshaw , chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort, May 8-9. Upshaw leads South Carolina’s newest baccalaureate institution, granting four-year degrees. Upshaw, who was born and reared in Fairfax, Ala., studied mathematics at Auburn University, where she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree before moving to Atlanta. During her five years in Atlanta, she worked in business as a consulting engineer for electric cooperatives, as a senior applications engineer providing market support to a manufacturing company’s national sales force and as a senior economic analyst for an investor-owned power company. In 1993, she earned her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of South Carolina.

The national search was prompted by CSU President Frank Brown’s announcement last year that he would retire June 30. This process of interviews, tours and public forums has been organized by a nine-member committee, led by Dr. George Stanton, vice president for academic affairs. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends are represented on the committee.

The CSU Presidential Search and Advisory Committee is charged with selecting five unranked candidates for the Special Regents’ Search Committee, which will make the final selection in concert with University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis. The campus committee is also charged with providing lists of perceived strengths and weaknesses for each candidate. Members of the CSU community who attend the forums are being asked to submitting one-page, bullet-point summaries of individual perceptions to

For updates on the CSU presidential search, plus more biographical detail and photos of all the candidates, visit

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