Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

March 31, 2012

Finalist for VSU president chosen

VALDOSTA —  Regent Don Leebern, chair of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at Valdosta State University, and the University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced Dr. William J. McKinney as the finalist for the next president of Valdosta State University on Friday.

According to a press release from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, McKinney is currently vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), a position he has held since 2008. In this post, McKinney oversees an annual  $70 million budget and is responsible for more than 400 full-time and almost 400 part-time faculty.

He also has overseen a 33 percent increase in sponsored research grants and contracts during his tenure, fueled in part by McKinney’s creation of new positions for research, community engagement and sponsored programs.

Prior to his work at IPFW, McKinney was dean of the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA. from 2001 to 2008 and chair of the Department of  Philosophy and Religion at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO. from 1997 to 2001. He has taught at these three institutions, as well as the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

As a result of his work in the area of academics and university management, in 2009 McKinney was picked as

 one of 25 members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) national “Red Balloon Project.” The group was charged with developing a new approach to undergraduate education that is responsive to public demands for greater accountability in higher education results in a new era of reduced state funding.

McKinney has been active in the work of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, serving on the national board of directors and in various volunteer roles. He also has been a member and held leadership positions in a range of local, state and national organizations, including  Leadership Fort Wayne, Northeast Indiana Aging and In-Home Services, and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.

He earned a bachelor of arts in history and a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa. Both of his advanced degrees were earned at Indiana University in Bloomington which include a master’s degree in history and the philosophy of science and a doctorate in the philosophy of science.

As stated in previous Times articles, after former VSU president, Dr. Patrick Scholss stepped on June 30, 2011, a national search was conducted to replace him. Dr. Louis Levy has been serving as interim president since Schloss stepped down.

On Feb. 13, 14, 16 and 20, VSU hosted a series of conversations with the four presidency candidates — Dr. Michael R. Lane, Dr. William J. McKinney, Dr. Cheryl Norton and Dr. Raymond W. Alden — where they discussed their qualifications and answered questions from the university community.

The Board of Regents is expected to vote on McKinney’s candidacy at a future meeting.

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