CSU taps Ron Williams as new chief of staff
President Chris Markwood has announced the appointment of Dr. Ronald Williams as Columbus State University’s new chief of staff. Williams succeeds Dr. Ed Helton, who has served as chief of staff since July 2019 and will conclude his nearly 20-year CSU career upon his retirement at the end of December. The chief of staff provides leadership to the president’s Executive Leadership Team; helps prioritize CSU’s strategic initiatives, policy matters and long-range goals; and represents the president in a variety of internal and community roles. He also directly oversees the Leadership Institute and Office of Strategic Communication + Marketing, and advises other administrators responsible for maintaining relationships with university stakeholder groups. “I have full confidence that Ron Williams will continue the excellent foundation Ed Helton has established for executive-level counsel, community and governmental relations, and overall organizational leadership at Columbus State,” Markwood said. “Ed has been a trusted advisor to me and a tremendous advocate for CSU in our community during his service.” In his current Provost’s Office role, which he has held since July 2019, Williams has led a multitude of efforts collaborating with administrators and faculty to enhance student learning, engagement, retention and graduation rates. In addition, he holds a teaching appointment as tenured professor in the Department of Teacher Education, Leadership and Counseling in the College of Education and Health Professions. “During his service to CSU, Dr. Williams has demonstrated a keen sense for how academic, operational, fiscal and stakeholder relations are intertwined. His current duties have already required him to work across campus, across disciplines and in the community to ensure and enhance student and faculty success,” Markwood said. During his career, Williams has served in other academic and administrative posts at Western Illinois University, Tennessee State University and Lane College, as well as with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lane College, as well as graduate degrees from Tennessee State University: an M.Ed. in educational administration and an Ed.D. in higher education administration.