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Jackson State University Gets First Female President

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 01 Dec 2010 09:28am | comments
Dr. Carolyn Meyers becomes JSU's first female president

After 133 years of academic excellence, Jackson State University has its first female president. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on the high expectations of the stakeholders.

Even before Dr. Carolyn Meyers serves her first day as president of the state’s largest historically black university, she is already being challenged on ways to grow it.

"I mean it'll be easy to say oh we need to go from 83 to 86 hundred all the way to 10 thousand in a year and blah, blah, blah, probably could do it in a couple of years. Where you gonna put the people, what kind of experience are they gonna have, what kind of opportunities are they gonna have, who's gonna teach em? It's more than just a numbers game.

And because it is more than just a numbers game, College Board Commissioner, Dr. Hank Bounds believes Meyers is the perfect candidate to lead Jackson State University.

"We need a president who understands what a great research portfolio looks like and she does. We need someone who understands math and science and computer science and engineering programs and she understands it. This is our opportunity to go from good to great and this is our opportunity to do just that,"

"This lady seems like she's really a big force in a tiny package."

That's Dr. Donna Antoine LaVigne, Associate Director of the JSU Heart Study Program.

"Not only being a scientist and being able to look at evidence based data but also to have a feel compassion for knowing the university must have a role in the community."

While Dr. Meyers has received the praise of many, Student Government Association member, Darius Kennebrew says he remains cautiously optimistic about the schools new direction.

"The issue of the merger has came up and I know it's over and done right now, it’s still bubbling above the surface and that's a very touchy issue. I wanna make sure once I graduate my dear old college home remains to be that and not something else."

Dr. Meyers has over 30 years in higher education, having served most recently as president of Norfolk State University in Virginia. Her tenure at JSU begins in January. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.

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Dr. Carolyn Meyers becomes JSU's first female president


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