Mickey L. Burnim Appointed President of Bowie State University


Adelphi, Md. (June 23, 2006) - David H. Nevins, chair of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents, today announced the appointment of Mickey L. Burnim as president of Bowie State University (BSU). Burnim is currently chancellor of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), one of the University of North Carolina’s 16 campuses. He will join BSU as president on or around September 1, 2006.

"The regents are extremely pleased that Dr. Burnim has accepted this appointment," said Nevins. "Under his leadership, Elizabeth City State University has flourished, reversing its negative enrollment trend, adding vital new academic programs, increasing its level of private support, and benefiting from the largest expansion and renovation of facilities in the university’s history. We are confident that Dr. Burnim’s leadership will position Bowie State University for significant advancement in the years to come."

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead Bowie State University," said Burnim. "The institution has enormous potential to enhance its prominence regionally and nationally, to increase its enrollment significantly, and to build on its existing collaborations and partnerships to open even more opportunities for students, faculty, and staff."

Burnim has served as chancellor of Elizabeth City State since July 1, 1996. The university enrolls more than 2,600 students and has 490 full-time faculty and staff. Its annual operating budget is $52 million.

Under Burnim’s leadership, Elizabeth City State has moved forward steadily. To improve operational efficiency, Burnim reorganized the university into four schools: Arts and Humanities; Business and Economics; Education and Psychology; and Mathematics, Science, and Technology. The university has expanded its curriculum to include seven new baccalaureate degree programs (including marine environmental science, social work, communication studies, and pharmaceutical science) and implemented its first three master’s degree programs in elementary education, biology, and mathematics.

These and other enhancements helped to reverse the university’s negative enrollment growth trend. Since 2001, student enrollment has increased 38 percent. Burnim also has led the university to increase its private fund raising from $60,000 in 1995 to an annual fund total of $2.5 million this year. In addition, Burnim is credited with initiating new business, civic, and educational partnerships and establishing the university’s first two endowed professorships.

"I very much look forward to welcoming Dr. Burnim to the University System of Maryland," said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "He has proven to be an exceptional higher education leader, ably tackling complex challenges with tremendous success and ensuring a healthy academic environment in which students, faculty, and staff can thrive."

"I also want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the presidential search-and-screen committee," Kirwan said. "Under the leadership of the Honorable William D. Missouri of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, the committee of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community representatives did an outstanding job of carrying out an effective and transparent process to identify an impressive pool of candidates."

"I am honored to have had this opportunity to work with Bowie State University and the University System of Maryland on the presidential search," said Judge Missouri. "The search process went very well. Greenwood & Associates (the search firm) did an outstanding job preparing our committee to do its job well. The firm was the best fit for this committee and this search.

"And, I believe that all members of the Bowie State community will appreciate Dr. Burnim’s commitment to inclusiveness."

Orlan Johnson, a USM regent and of counsel with the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, served as the search committee’s liaison to the board. "I am very pleased with the board’s selection of Dr. Mickey Burnim to be the next president of Bowie State University," said Johnson. "I am extremely confident that he has the complete skill set necessary to lead this institution to the next level of excellence. I look forward to Dr. Burnim bringing a new source of intellectual capital and his vast experience as a chief executive to the Bowie community, Prince George’s County, and the great State of Maryland."

Burnim will bring to the BSU presidency more than 30 years of experience in higher education. Prior to serving as the chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, he served for nearly one year as the university’s interim chancellor, provost of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham from 1990 to 1995, and vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of economics at NCCU from 1986 to 1995. He also has served on the faculties of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Florida State University.

An engaged member of his community, Burnim has served on several boards and councils, including the Wachovia Bank Advisory Board for Elizabeth City, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, The Elizabeth City Salvation Army, and The Elizabeth City Rotary Club. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, having served as its chairman from 2003 to 2005.

Burnim holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an M.A. and B.A. in economics, both from North Texas State University. He and his wife LaVera have two adult children.

Burnim will succeed Calvin W. Lowe who is leaving the presidency June 30, 2006. Under Lowe’s leadership for six years, Bowie State has increased student enrollment, enhanced the quality of its academic programs and its physical plant, and built one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

A comprehensive institution located in Prince George’s County, Bowie State University is part of the University System of Maryland. Established in 1865, BSU continues to build on its foundation as a student-centered institution. The university offers high-quality and affordable education opportunities at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels to a diverse student population. With an annual operating budget of $77.9 million for FY 2006 (expected to increase to some $87 million in FY 2007), BSU currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and about 1,300 graduate students.

To learn more about Bowie State University, visit: www.bowiestate.edu.

Contact: Liz O'Neill
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: loneill@usmd.edu