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3/19/2015 - Jackson, Miss.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning voted recently to extend the contract of Jackson State University President Dr. Carolyn Meyers following a careful review of the university under her leadership.

"Dr. Meyers' commitment to preparing Jackson State University students to be global leaders has been evident throughout her tenure," said Trustee Aubrey Patterson, President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. "While she uses data to drive decision-making, she is always mindful of the impact these decisions will have on students. She ensures they are educated in an environment that is both caring and challenging and are prepared equally for the workforce and serving others as they graduate."

Dr. Meyers was named the 10th president of the Jackson State University on December 1, 2010 and began serving in the role in January 2011. She was formally sworn in on March 30, 2012.

During Dr. Meyers' tenure, Jackson State has enjoyed record enrollment, improved the freshman profile and was named an Apple Distinguished School. The university has expanded its impact with three new campus locations, increased course offerings for evening, weekend and online studies and implemented the nation's largest freshman iPad initiative, which provides all first-year students with iPads to aid with their coursework.

"Dr. Meyers has taken Jackson State's mission as Mississippi's only urban university very seriously, expanding opportunities for students throughout the metro area and beyond," said Trustee Alan Perry, Vice President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning." By expanding into Madison County and downtown Jackson, the university is reaching out to students, particularly non-traditional students who have family and work responsibilities, who may not otherwise have an opportunity to earn a degree and fulfill their dreams."

Selected as HBCU Digest's Female President of the Year in 2014, Dr. Meyers has placed an emphasis on a commitment to excellence and serving students, so that they are prepared for the future. Jackson State's "Passport to the World" study abroad program has partnered with the Council on International Education Exchange's "Passport Caravan" program to allow hundreds of JSU students to study abroad.

"I am honored and very pleased that the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning has placed their confidence in my leadership at Jackson State University. The opportunity to continue to serve our students and to work with all of our stakeholders is precious to me. I am excited about our future and determined to build upon the accomplishments of the past four years. I pledge to continue to make all of our stakeholders and the IHL proud of JSU," said President Carolyn W. Meyers.

Jackson State was named an Apple Distinguished School for 2013-15. The designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple's vision of exemplary learning environments. The INNOVATE and CREATE spaces within the H.T. Sampson Library use technology to enhance student success and allow for collaboration among faculty.

"Jackson State University is thriving under Dr. Meyers' leadership," said Trustee Bob Owens, member of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. "She celebrates the history of the institution, but is not afraid of change. She has improved the campus, enhanced the facilities and utilized technology in unprecedented ways. This creates an experience for students that is second to none and will prepare them well for the future."

Under Dr. Meyers' leadership, Jackson State University earned a 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and national accreditations in business, teacher education and engineering as well as full certification by the NCAA. Dr. Meyers pushed Jackson State University enrollment to an all-time high of 9,508 and positioned the university to become a national model for educating the underserved and achieving global recognition for excellence in education, research and service.

Dr. James Renick, provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs, said, "Dr. Meyers is an incredible leader with vision, foresight and strong academic values. I am delighted that the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning has made this decision and I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Meyers to further develop this great institution."

Dr. Meyers has carefully managed the university's finances to ensure they are diversified and strong enough to support its people, programs and plans for the future.

She has also focused on reaching out to the community and ensuring that Jackson State plays a vital role in the success and prosperity of the Capital City. The university has supported the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership's Vision 2022/One Voice initiative to build a blueprint for developing a vibrant city, hosted representatives from business, government and nonprofits attending the Jackson Business Developers Roundtable and produced a holiday celebration for the community.

"Leadership sometimes means making hard choices and hard decisions. Dr. Meyers is not afraid of making those hard choices and decisions," said Trustee Ed Blakeslee, a member of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. "She makes the students a priority and is also aware of the important the role that Jackson State plays in the city and the state. Her decisions are guided by what will help students succeed and will help the university, the Capital region and the state to thrive."

Throughout her tenure, Dr. Meyers has worked to fulfill a vision of Jackson State that is focused on for all students, strong in its reputation, unique in its formal and informal learning environments and programs, and valuable and relevant to the local and global communities - a true Urban University.

"Congratulations to our President, Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers. Dr. Meyers recognizes that Jackson State University is a crown jewel among institutions of higher learning. She has unparalleled footprints of leadership and a vision that has propelled the academy to turn challenges into opportunities establishing it as a model of success worth emulating," said Jackson State University Faculty Senate President, Dr. Glenda Y. Windfield.

A native of Newport News, Va., Dr. Meyers brought to Jackson State University more than 30 years of academic and administrative leadership experience in higher education, serving most recently as President of Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she was a tenured professor of mechanical engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. Meyers also was a tenured faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology and was the first Associate Dean for Research in its College of Engineering.

Dr. Meyers earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Howard University, a master's degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University. She is a fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a board member of the American Council on Education.

Dr. Meyers has published numerous articles and reports and given more than 200 invited presentations and technical papers on education and diversity topics as well as research and technical topics. Her numerous awards and honors include the National Society of Black Engineers' Golden Torch Award and the National Science Foundation's Presidential Young Investigator Award. Dr. Meyers has received a joint resolution from the Virginia Legislature and a concurrent resolution from the Mississippi Legislature commending her leadership and service to higher education.

"Dr. Meyers has done a remarkable job of helping Jackson State grow without losing sight of the individual student," said Dr. Jim Borsig. "She ensures that students have a robust learning experience while at Jackson State and graduate prepared to make a difference."

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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