The current president of Mississippi Valley State University is the preferred candidate to become the new president of Jackson State University. MPB's Alexis Ware reports
William Bynum Jr. has been the president of Mississippi Valley State since 20-13. The College Board chose Bynum out of eight candidates to lead Jackson State. Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce says Bynum's achievements at Valley State made him fit for the position.
"Some of the things he did that were really caught the eye certainly I would think of the trustees would be the enrollment increases, because he's competing against seven other state intuitions and in today's higher ed competition out of state schools everybody's trying to get as many students as they can."
Bynum is a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina and holds a doctorate from Duke University. Speaking via conference call, he says one priority is solving the university's financial issues.
"The institution of course has great academic programs it has a number of great relationships partnerships with the community and entities within the state so there's no doubt about it priority number one is to get a handle on the finances."
Jackson State Alumni and others had voiced concern that trustees would choose someone unacceptable for their campus. State Representative Jarvis Dortch, a Jackson State graduate, is urging fellow alumni to support Bynum.
"We've had a trying couple of years, so anything that we can do to support Dr. Bynum and make this a positive change for the university I'm going to work at."
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige has been serving as interim president since Carolyn Meyers resigned last year after trustees intervened in finances, citing dwindling cash revenues.The Board will make its final decision after Bynum visits the campus on May 31.