Columbus State Fills Several Leadership Posts

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Several administrative positions at Columbus State University have been finalized as the fall semester approaches.

From deans to off-campus center directors, a variety of new faces or new positions are in place – some on an interim basis – to welcome in the fall 2011 class of students.

New this fall, plus other recent appointees, are:

• Barbara Buckner, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, has arrived from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., where she served as associate provost. CSU announced her hiring earlier this year to succeed David Rock, who departed for the Unversity of Mississippi. Ellen Roberts, who served as interim dean, resumes as associate dean and Deborah Gober resumes as teacher education chair.

• Richard Baxter, interim dean of the College of Arts, has transitioned from chair of the Department of Communication. A professor of communication, he has more than 27 years of higher education experience, including as an executive assistant to three university presidents prior to his 2005 CSU arrival.

• Ron Wirt, interim director of the Schwob School of Music, assumed this post last spring and continues to service as associate dean of the College of Arts.

• Stuart Rayfield is the first Frank Brown Distinguished Chair in Servant Leadership, a recently endowed post named for CSU’s retired third president. The position bolsters a program through which undergraduate scholars complete a four-year academic and community service immersion. Rayfield, who succeeded Mary Sue Polleys in 2006 as head of the program, holds an Ed.D. in leadership, policy and organizations from Vanderbilt University.

• Lt. Col. Michael E. Feret is CSU's new ROTC commander and military science professor, replacing Lt. Col. Dean Weiler, who was reassigned by the Army.

• Danna Gibson, interim chair of the Department of Communication, succeeds Baxter with prior experience, from 2006-2009, as CSU’s Honors Program director.

• Gary Sprayberry, interim chair of the Department of History and Geography, is an assistant professor of history who joined CSU in 2009 with a doctorate from the University of Alabama and an expert in Southern history and the Alabama civil rights movement.

• Tara Redmond, interim chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise  Science, oversees the CSU MPA program’s health administration degree track as an associate professor of health science.

• Bill Frazier, chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, is a professor of geology who joined the CSU faculty in 1974. He has established a Twitter account and blog to cover department events and activities.

• Tom Dolan, chair of the Department of Political Science and MPA Program, is a professor of political science. CSU has removed the interim tag from the title after Dolan succeeded Greg Domin in fall 2010, when Domin became an associate provost. Dolan previously served as chair, for several years, after joining CSU in 2000.

• Michael Bailey, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, is a 1996 CSU MPA graduate and former Muscogee County deputy sheriff who joined the CSU faculty in 2004. He is an associate professor of criminal justice.

• Kimberly Gill, director of the MPA Program, officially succeeds the late Bill Chappell on Aug. 1, after serving as acting director since Chappell’s death in early January. She is an assistant professor of political science.

• John McElveen, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management, previously was vice president for student and public affairs at Middle Georgia College in Cochran. He oversees recruitment, admissions, financial aid, registrar and veterans affairs, plus related functions at CSU’s Fort Benning and West Point centers. His arrival allows Chip Reese to exclusively focus on his dean of students role.

• John Crowe, director of Greek Life and Student Engagement, has arrived after serving as student union operations coordinator at the University of West Florida, where he earned a master’s in education with a focus on college student personnel administration.

• Courtney George, interim director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, succeeds the retired Cathy Fussell. A Greenville, S.C., native and CSU assistant professor of English since 2009, George earned CSU's Outstanding Teacher of Writing Award in her first year and was nominated for Educator of the Year honors this year. The McCullers center operates from a museum in iconic author Carson McCullers’ childhood home at 1519 Stark Ave., in midtown Columbus. The center presents programs for the community, often by writers and composers selected for fellowships that allow them to reside in the house.

• Lisa Randolph, director of the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, is a former New York City science teacher and the center's interim assistant director since May 2010. She joined the center in 2009 as a program coordinator while completing a CSU master’s degree in environmental science. Randolph guides three full-time staff members at the center, which has a new, 8,000-square-foot multipurpose facility that will be inaugurated  in a July 30 grand opening event at the 3535 South Lumpkin Road center.

• Jaimie DeLoach, director of Enterprise Risk Management, joined CSU in late spring. The former assistant city attorney for Columbus’ duties are responsive to implementing the newly adopted USG Enterprise Risk Management iniative that goes beyond the simple identification and mitigation of risks. Enterprise Risk Management defines risk as whatever would impede CSU from achieving its strategic plan. ERM focuses on opportunities as well as considering a broader spectrum of risks, including strategic, reputational, compliance, financial and operational risks. Reporting to the vice president for business and finance, DeLoach is coordinating the university’s insurance programs, serving as liaison to the state Department of Administrative Services and reviewing contracts and waivers.