1 Leadership Profile Columbus State University President This search is being assisted by:
2 Columbus State University, a member of the University System of Georgia, seeks a dynamic, energetic academic servant-leader as its next president. The successful candidate in this national search will lead a growing university located in Georgia s second largest city that offers high-demand undergraduate and graduate level programs on the main and RiverPark campuses in Columbus as well as courses at nearby Fort Benning and in Leesburg, Georgia. The incoming president will follow Dr. Timothy Mescon, whose tenure since he was named president in 2008 has been a period of transformative growth and achievement for the university. Located 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, the university (www.columbusstate.edu) is on an impressive forward trajectory. Serving the Southeast while attracting students from around the world, Columbus State offers nationally distinctive programs in the sciences and humanities as well as the arts, education, business, nursing, and other disciplines. Total enrollment is more than 8,200 with a student/faculty member ratio of 20:1. There are 314 full-time faculty and 521 full-time staff. The annual budget is approaching $100 million and the university s economic impact on the surrounding region is $247 million annually. A leader in the delivery of online programs, CSU offers an extensive array of courses and degree programs that can be taken face-to-face, hybrid, or totally online that serve the needs of a large and diverse student body. Online courses comprise about 30 percent of credit hour production and serve students globally as well as those who live on or near the campus (http://online.columbusstate.edu).
3 During its first 55 years, the university has evolved from grassroots beginnings on the site of an abandoned textile mill to one of the top regional universities in the South. With a proven ability to meet the changing needs of the region, Columbus State thrives on community partnerships and has built long-term relationships with corporate and private donors, alumni, and Georgia business leaders along with global partners. The Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum (http://jblf.org) is hosted annually on campus and brings nationally prominent entrepreneurs, authors, and world leaders to share their success stories. Next year s announced speakers include former President George W. Bush and his family, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and Daniel Pink. The city is known for nationally acclaimed art and history museums as well as the State Theatre of Georgia. Four CSU educational outreach centers the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the Columbus Regional Mathematics Collaborative, and the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians extend its reputation as a teaching university, offering learning opportunities for students as well as the public. The downtown RiverPark campus includes a state-of-the art performing arts complex, visual art galleries, a theatre facility, and student apartment buildings. CSU is finalizing plans to expand its downtown presence further with the purchase and renovation of the historic Ledger-Enquirer building, which will eventually be home to the College of Education and Health Professions, thanks to private community support. Now in the final planning stages of a comprehensive capital campaign, the university has an enviable history of private sector support. The last capital campaign raised more than $100 million for priority initiatives, eclipsing the original $67 million goal by nearly 50 percent (http://news.columbusstate.edu/capital-campaign-raises-more-than-100-million). The upcoming campaign will support the goals and strategies of the current five-year strategic plan, making substantial investments to secure CSU s position as a first choice university for students and faculty.
4 By definition, Columbus State strives to be the preferred destination for discerning students who seek challenging programs, engaged faculty, and a vibrant, globally-connected campus culture in a creative, personal setting. The university s primary strengths are its central location, comparative value, focus on teaching excellence, experiential learning opportunities, cultural enrichment opportunities, and public-private partnerships. Columbus State serves the educational needs of a diverse region by providing a mixture of liberal arts and professional programs leading to associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the university offers degree programs in four colleges: College of the Arts, Turner College of Business, College of Education and Health Professions, and College of Letters and Sciences. The colleges house 19 academic departments, three schools the Schwob School of Music, the School of Nursing, and the TSYS School of Computer Science and two cross-college collaborative programs (Degree in Three and UTeach Columbus). Additionally, the newly-formed CSU Honors College is designed for academically talented students committed to engaging in their individual disciplines through experiential learning and creative scholarship. Students choose from among 46 undergraduate degree programs 42 graduate degree programs. The Doctor of Education degree includes specializations in Curriculum, Leadership, and Higher Education. Student success is a priority at Columbus State. In keeping with its mission, the university provides highly personalized studentsupport services, which helped to increase the freshman-sophomore retention rate significantly last year. Students in all majors have opportunities to enhance traditional learning through internships, clinical experiences, cooperative education, and field research alongside senior professors. Columbus State is among seven U.S. colleges and universities recognized in 2014 for innovative international programs. Online graduate programs in education and business have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best 50 such programs in the country. The online Master s degree program in Computer Science is among America s best values. In the 2015 Best Value Online college rankings, OnlineU.org ranks the Nursing degree #18 and Business #20. Columbus State is emerging as a national player in STEM teacher preparation efforts with about $3 million in national grants during the past few years from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top initiative and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, which made Georgia the first state in the South to join the growing national Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships program. The quality and diversity of student life is robust. CSU athletic teams have earned NCAA championships in baseball, intramural basketball, club bass fishing, and riflery and there are myriad
5 opportunities to participate in 15 Greek organizations and over 100 clubs and sports teams. The university offers apartment-style dorms that serve 1,200 students. An aspirational five-year strategic plan that was developed in a broad, campus-wide process is now in its second year and sets forth six key priorities: Attract a higher percentage of students with the motivation and preparation to complete a degree. Employ more creative instructional methods to meet the needs of diverse students. Increase student academic and social engagement and sense of belonging. Sustain the university s growth by focusing resources in areas with strong potential based on emerging opportunities. Improve faculty/staff retention, job satisfaction, and productivity. Improve stewardship through leadership in sustainability programs, the efficient use of resources, and external partnerships. The university is a hub of international education and exchange, striving to ensure that all students have opportunities to become globally competent through academic programs that are offered on every major continent (http://studyabroad.columbusstate.edu). The Center for International Education is dedicated to infusing international perspectives broadly throughout the curricula, promoting and assisting with international faculty development, ensuring optimum experiences for international students, supporting visiting and exchange scholars, and stimulating awareness of international issues and multiculturalism.
6 Columbus State is one of only four U.S. universities with a visiting student program based at its own facility on the Oxford University campus. Spencer House at Oxford is a refurbished residential property that gives CSU students and faculty a home away from home for study and cultural exploration. There are numerous opportunities to earn scholarships and grants for study abroad and the number of students who participate in study-abroad programs has increased 30 percent year over year. Columbus State is one of four institutions to win the 2014 NAFSA Association of International Educators' Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization, considered the ultimate honor for a university in terms of recognizing innovative efforts to make students more aware of the world at large. The City of Columbus Located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Columbus (http://visitcolumbusga.com) is a prosperous city of 200,000-plus that is home to national corporations that include Aflac, Carmike Cinemas, W.C. Bradley Co., Blue Cross/Blue Shield, NCR Corp., Realtree, Synovus Financial Corp., and TSYS. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. and Callaway Gardens are located nearby. The U.S. Army base at Fort Benning supports more than 120,000 active duty military and their families as well as reserves, retirees, and civilian employees. Town-gown partnerships with the university flourish and private-sector support is robust. A sportsman s paradise, southwest Georgia is a haven for world-class hunting, fishing, whitewater rafting, and other year-round outdoor pursuits of every kind. The Chattahoochee River Walk is a spectacular 15-mile linear River Walk park that anchors the center of the city.
7 Attributes of Leadership In addition to a record of academic accomplishment and a strong sense of personal integrity, the next president will have a proven commitment to shared governance, student success, and diversity. Other attributes of leadership include: A collegial and positive approach to managing, motivating, and empowering the faculty and staff to make decisions and help guide the university s future. Expertise as a capable, effective and enthusiastic fundraiser. Commitment to meaningful and engaged instruction. Active engagement in the life of the campus and community as a visible participant and supporter in co-curricular and civic organizations. Excellent communication skills and a people-focused approach to consensus-building. Strong fiscal skills, budgeting expertise, and knowledge of best practices in all aspects of financial affairs. Appreciation for and personal interest in all aspects of a diverse student-centered environment where extracurricular activities, including intercollegiate athletics, flourish. Success in implementing effective support services that enrich the student experience and lead to increased student retention/graduation rates, and a keen sensitivity to the needs of students from varying backgrounds, such as first-generation college students, mid-career adults pursuing degrees, members of the military, culturally diverse and international students. Commitment to building a research culture to support faculty scholarship and grow more opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student research, with a focused approach to attracting external funding. Demonstrated support for innovative faculty and staff development and competitive compensation programs. Experience in promoting public-private partnerships, representing the university with local, state, and national constituencies, and helping grow the university s economic impact on the city and state as well as its global footprint. Confident decision-making ability and a proven reputation for meeting commitments and delivering on expectations. A demonstrated record of success in promoting and sustaining efforts to attract and retain a highly qualified and diverse faculty, staff and student body.
8 Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Next President The Search Advisory Committee seeks candidates who are committed to student engagement, excellence in teaching and research, and community involvement. Recognizing the educational challenges and opportunities of the 21 st century, the president will: Be an articulate and persuasive advocate for Columbus State with local, state, national and global constituencies. Leading efforts to enhance the university s brand by raising awareness and appreciation for its mission and vision, the president will be highly visible on and off the campus. Continue to build on the strong relationships with Columbus and the region and devise new strategies to leverage that valuable foundation. Strengthen the synergies between the two campuses and continue to grow the relationship with Fort Benning. Work with the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Chancellor and staff as well as key Federal and state elected officials to build on the university s growing momentum as a research engine and economic driver. Be a strong advocate for the higher education legislative agenda in Georgia. Advance the university s goal of being the destination of choice for discerning students. The Schwob School of Music is one of the leading, fastestgrowing programs in the Southeast. The Turner College of Business is internationally accredited by the AACSB. The online degree programs in Nursing and Business are ranked among the nation s top 20 best values in online degrees. U.S. News & World Report lists Columbus State University among the Top 25 regional universities in the South in the inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans rankings. Through the Retention/Progression/Graduation program, continue to increase retention and graduation rates, grow freshman enrollment as well as overall enrollment. Support and build the value of intercollegiate athletics as a part of the student experience. Advance study abroad and international student recruitment initiatives. Grow Columbus State s ongoing initiatives to blend classroom and online courses to enable students to enrich and personalize their majors. Increase opportunities for student research.
9 Inspire, empower and reward faculty achievement in the classroom and the laboratory. Build consensus among the faculty about how to build and strengthen interdisciplinary programs and initiatives. Through honest dialogue and a platform of shared governance, involve the faculty and staff when setting the university s future course. Find ways to enhance revenue streams that will provide opportunities to increase faculty and staff compensation and improve the campus infrastructure. Work with faculty and staff on a comprehensive programmatic review to streamline, enhance and update academic and co-curricular programs. Search Timeline For best consideration, applications and nominations should be received on or before January 30, Initial interviews will be set in mid-february. The Search Committee will continue to accept confidential applications and nominations until the position is filled. Please include a letter describing relevant experiences and interest in the position; curriculum vitae; and the names of five references with titles, addresses, telephone numbers, and addresses. Individuals who wish to nominate a candidate should submit a letter of nomination, including the name, position, address, telephone number, and address of the nominee. Applications and nominations should be electronically submitted via MS Word or pdf to The search is assisted by John B. Hicks, Senior Consultant Academic Search, Inc Columbus State University is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer.
10 For more than three decades, Academic Search has offered executive search services exclusively to institutions of higher education. Academic Search was founded on the principle of strengthening higher education leadership through professional search services. We are the only search firm in the nation with a formal relationship to a premier leadership development program. As the subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), Academic Search provides substantial financial support to a number of leadership identification, development, and support programs across all sectors of public and private higher education. For more information, visit
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