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 Headcougar_hunt@ColumbusState.edu.

For updates on the CSU presidential search, plus more biographical detail and photos of all the candidates, visit http://www.colstate.edu/presidentialsearch.