The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced today the unanimous decision to name Dr. William B. Bynum, Jr. as president of Mississippi Valley State University. With more than 25 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Bynum served most recently as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
"Dr. Bynum has extensive experience in higher education," said Trustee Shane Hooper, chair of the Mississippi Valley State University Board Search Committee. "He understands the most pressing issues in higher education today and has the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to address them. With demonstrated leadership skills and a proven track record of increasing enrollment, he is the right person to serve as president of Mississippi Valley State University at this point in the institution's history."
While at Morehouse College, Dr. Bynum recruited students and implemented programs, initiatives and activities to support them and help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. In addition to serving as a faculty member in the Morehouse College Leadership Center and the Sociology Department, Dr. Bynum was responsible for 18 programmatic units, including Project Identity, a pre-college program, and the first Morehouse College Parents Council, which was formed under his leadership.
Throughout his career, Dr. Bynum has led special projects and initiatives related to enhancing retention and graduation rates and developed academic policies to help students achieve and shorten their path to completion. Prior to joining Morehouse College, Dr. Bynum served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. During his tenure there, he implemented an Enrollment Management Model, recruited the four largest classes in the university's 150-year history, and increased the overall student enrollment.
"I am humbled and honored that the Board of Trustees has selected me to lead Mississippi Valley State University," said Dr. Bynum. "I grew up in a rural area of North Carolina that is very similar to the Mississippi Delta and understand the power that education has to change the lives of students and their families for generations to come. I look forward to working with the campus and community to enhance opportunities for students to pursue their dreams and fulfill their potential at Mississippi Valley."
A native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Dr. Bynum holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Davidson College and both a master's degree and a doctorate in sociology from Duke University, where he was a Duke Endowment Fellow. In addition, he was selected as one of the first 13 inaugural members of the National Association For Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)-Kellogg Leadership Fellows Program in 2003. Funded through a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, the program is designed to train the next generation of college/university presidents for minority serving institutions.
Dr. Bynum has served as the Covington Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Davidson College, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Clark Atlanta University and Assistant Dean of Students at Davidson College. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Morehouse College in the Sociology Department and the Leadership Center. The Leadership Center trains students to be global, ethical leaders by teaching them leadership concepts and theories and then providing real life experiences where they can hone their leadership skills and abilities.
"Dr. Bynum was an effective leader at Morehouse," said Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., president of Morehouse College in Atlanta. "I expect that he will be a student-friendly president with an impressive vision and execution strategy for Mississippi Valley State University."
Earlier today, Dr. Bynum met with campus constituency groups on the Mississippi Valley State University Campus in Itta Bena. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members were able to pose questions to him and share their thoughts and concerns with him. Attendees were able to provide feedback to the Board of Trustees. This feedback was reviewed during the Board Meeting on campus.