College Board likes Bynum for MVSU president
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - William Bynum says that if he's named president of Mississippi Valley State University, his goal is to reverse the decline of the state's smallest public university.
"I'm there to make sure I turn things around, that we get the university on a very solid footing," Bynum
told reporters in a phone interview Thursday, after he
was announced as the College Board's preferred candidate for the post.
, 51, most recently vice president of enrollment management and student services of Atlanta's Morehouse College
, was chosen privately by the College Board
after a months-long search.
Officials said they examined more than 70 applications.
A campus search advisory committee submitted names to the board, which then made selections and held two rounds of interviews.
will visit the Itta Bena campus to meet with faculty, students and other groups Tuesday
The College Board
will vote on Bynum's appointment after those sessions.
He'll have a tough assignment - reverse falling enrollment, unite a fractious alumni base, and raise money for the state's youngest university.
said that his
"first and foremost" priority would be to boost the number of students by focusing on high schools that have traditionally sent students to Valley, expanding recruitment to areas with growing numbers of high school graduates and using financial aid to bolster recruitment in new territory.
second priority is holding on to students already at Valley, making sure they stay in school and graduate.
third area of focus as unifying alumni and other community members behind the university.
Valley has been plagued by a split between its alumni association and foundation leadership, with both often criticizing the College Board
for neglecting the school.
"In order to be a strong institution, the alumni have to play a very strong role," Bynum
said, adding they're needed to help recruit new students, mentor current ones, and donate money.
Before working at Morehouse, the nation's only all-male historically black institution, Bynum worked at Lincoln University, a historically black institution in Pennsylvania, and at Clark Atlanta University and Davidson College.
was one of the first 13 members in 2003 of a program meant to prepare future presidents for colleges and universities that serve minority populations.
already talked to people at Morehouse
and the other schools where he
has worked about joining him at Valley.
A native of Rocky Mount, N.C., he earned a bachelor's degree at Davidson and master's and doctoral degrees at Duke University, all in sociology.