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5/22/2017 - Jackson, Miss.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced today the selection of Dr. William B. Bynum as the preferred candidate for President of Jackson State University. Dr. Bynum currently serves as President of Mississippi Valley State University.

Dr. Bynum was recommended by the Board Search Committee, chaired by Trustee C.D. Smith, with input from the Campus Search Advisory Committee and the Interview Search Advisory Committee.

"Dr. Bynum has served Mississippi Valley State University very well as president," said Trustee C.D. Smith, Chair of the Board Search Committee. "He is a student-centric leader who has increased enrollment and attracted philanthropic and legislative support for the university, putting the university in a good fiscal position to offer more programs, services and opportunities for students."

Dr. Bynum is a graduate of Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., where he was a student-athlete, and holds a doctorate from Duke University, where he was a Duke Endowment Fellow. He has 30 years of experience in higher education.

A native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Dr. Bynum was named the seventh president of Mississippi Valley State University in 2013. Under his leadership, the university has:

  • Increased student enrollment by 11.4 percent
  • Restructured the University by creating a student-centered operational model, which focuses on a University College for freshmen and places a strong emphasis on student learning outcomes and intensive writing skills development
  • Improved the university's cash position by 47 percent
  • Increased the days of cash on hand by 65 percent, from 63 days of cash on hand to 105 days
  • Increased annual giving from $400,000 to more than $1.2 million per year
  • Improved the University physical plant and campus aesthetics with numerous renovations and additions, including the Harrison Sports and Recreation Complex, the Edna Horton Residence Hall, College Hall residence hall and the Academic Skills Complex

Dr. Bynum has helped secure almost $2 million in grants, including:

  • A $900,000 grant from the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program
  • A $780,000 grant from the Hearin Foundation for scholarship support and a Saturday Bio-Informatics Program for high school students
  • Two grants, totaling $624,000, from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation to enhance health and wellness efforts on campus

Under Dr. Bynum, federal grants and contracts awarded to Mississippi Valley State University have increased 34 percent, from $6.4 million to $9.9 million.

Dr. Bynum recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Churchill Downs, Inc., well known for its namesake race track and its signature event, the Kentucky Derby, The MOU recognizes interests shared by MVSU and CDI in education, training and development and represents the culmination of a relationship established during recruitment efforts for MVSU’s Organizational Management Program, which is an accelerated degree program for adult learners.

Dr. Bynum chairs the NCAA Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Limited-Resource Institutions Academic Advisory Group, which serves in an advisory capacity to the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) on policy-related issues. The formation of this group is based on an in-depth examination of Academic Performance Rate trends indicating that a higher proportion of HBCU and other LRI teams are subject to Academic Performance Program penalties.

Bynum also serves as a member of the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee.

Prior to joining Mississippi Valley State University, Dr. Bynum served as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services for Morehouse College in Atlanta, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pa. and as Associate Vice President, Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. At Davidson College, he has served as Assistant Dean of Students and as the Covington Distinguished Professor of Sociology.

Dr. Bynum was selected as one of 13 inaugural members of the National Association for Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)-Kellogg Leadership Fellow Program and participated in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) New Presidents Academy, which is tailored to the distinctive needs of presidents and chancellors who lead state colleges and universities.

Dr. Bynum also has experience in teaching, lecturing and research. He has served as an adjunct professor at Morehouse College, a research associate at Georgia Tech and Duke University, a teaching assistant at Duke, an instructor at Durham and Edgecombe Community Colleges and as a teacher and coach for Rocky Mount City Schools and DeKalb County Schools in Georgia.

He and his wife, Deborah Elaine Bynum, have six children.

Campus listening sessions were held on the Jackson State University Campus in February for the members of the Board Search Committee and the Campus Search Advisory Committee to hear what qualities and qualifications the campus constituency groups believed the next president should possess. After careful review of all applicants, the Campus Search Advisory Committee submitted the names of several candidates unranked to the Board Search Committee and nominated fellow members to serve on the Interview Search Advisory Committee.

"I would like to thank the members of the Campus Search Advisory Committee for the time and expertise each one devoted to the search process," said Trustee Smith.

The members of the Jackson State University Campus Search Advisory Committee includes Jean-Claude Assad, Co-Chair; Yolanda Owens, Co-Chair; Carrine Bishop, Wheeler Brown, Kendall Bunch, Robert Cook, James Covington, Deborah Dent, Jean Frazier, Isaac Gaines, George Flaggs, Ashton Hamme, Malcolm Harrison, Rosella Houston, Thomas Hudson, Evelyn Leggette, Stuart Lott, Robert Luckett, Alfred Martin, Loretta Moore, Yolanda Owens, Robin Pack, Rod Paige, Cass Pennington, Gwen Prater, Judy Qualls, Dorris Robinson-Gardner, Dowell Taylor, Gordon Skelton, Mike Walker, Thea Williams-Black, Terry Woodard, Louis Wright, and Jianjun Yin.

Dr. Bynum will meet with campus constituency groups in Ballroom A of the JSU Student Center, 1400 John R. Lynch Street, Jackson, Miss., 39217, on Wednesday, May 31, according to the following schedule:

Jackson State University Preferred Candidate Visit Schedule - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
9:00 a.m.Administration/Faculty/StaffJSU Student Center
10:00 a.m.StudentsJSU Student Center
11:00 a.m.Alumni/CommunityJSU Student Center
1:00 p.m.Board MeetingJSU Student Center
1:30 p.m.Press ConferenceJSU Student Center

For more information and to track progress on the president search, visit the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s Web site or on Twitter @JSU_Search.

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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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