COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus State University President Timothy S. Mescon has announced his plans to retire from the University System of Georgia, effective Dec. 31, 2014.
After retiring from Columbus State, Mescon will move to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to become the inaugural Senior Vice President and Chief Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
"I have enjoyed my tenure at Columbus State University and will miss the University and my many friends and colleagues who have made this job so exciting and compelling," Mescon said. "The University is on an incredibly exciting trajectory and I am most confident in the future of our institution."
AACSB International is a global, nonprofit membership organization of educational institutions, businesses, and other entities devoted to the advancement of management education.
Established in 1916, AACSB International provides its members with a variety of products and services to assist them with the continuous improvement of their business programs and schools.
We talked with Mescon on Thursday about this new development in his life.
"That's a wonderful exit platform," Mescon said. "There's nothing more exciting than the graduation ceremony at Columbus State. I'm excited about the next four months and thrilled about watching the university continue to grow and develop."
Mescon was appointed as Columbus State's fourth president in August 2008. Prior to serving at Columbus State University, Mescon was the Jack Dinos Eminent Scholar and Dean of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University for 18 years.
"President Mescon has been an inspiring leader in the University System of Georgia for more than 20 years," said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. "We wish him well in his future endeavors and we thank him for his service to the state, the Columbus community and Columbus State University."
Among the many accomplishments under Mescon's tenure, Columbus State University launched its first doctoral program and an array of other graduate programs, including the nation's first graduate program in Servant Leadership. The university was restructured under his tenure, creating the College of Letters and Sciences, College of the Arts, College of Education and Health Professions, Turner College of Business, Honors College and Graduate School.
Additionally over the past six years:
The chemistry program received national accreditation from the American Chemical Society and the School of Nursing added graduate programs and changed its accreditation to the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Columbus State University has, for the first time ever, been recognized regionally by U.S. News and World Report, which also nationally ranked the university's graduate programs in education and business. The university has established extensive partnerships with Ft. Benning, the Maneuver Center of Excellence and been recognized both as a Yellow Ribbon and as a Military Friendly School. Also, the university added several online degree programs including an accelerated bachelor's degree, now called CSU Degree in 3, that emerged from a $1 million grant to the University System of Gerogia to improve college readiness and completion.
The university built the nation's No. 1-ranked Student Recreation Center and added 20 club sports and five NCAA Intercollegiate Sports. CSU and the Army Marksmanship Unit at Ft. Benning hosted the NCAA National Rifle Championship. Additionally, since 2008 the University has secured funding for the renovation of Howard and Arnold Halls, the new Burger King Stadium and the Key Golf Studio. The university has completed the renovation of the Carpenters Union Building, Student Art Studios (Seaboard Depot), and visiting faculty housing downtown and 100 additional student apartments in Uptown. Also, in 2014 CSU was named winner of the Senator Paul Simon Prize for outstanding international education programs.
Under Mescon's leadership, the university has set records in fundraising and, for six consecutive years, reached new giving levels in its annual fund. The university also added seven endowed faculty positions, as well as a legacy endowment for the Keyboard Studies Program. This success has fueled the silent phase of a comprehensive campaign that has already raised more than $51 million.
Mescon, who has held faculty positions for 36 years, has a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. He also earned an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and a bachelor's degree from Tulane University. Georgia Trend Magazine has named Mescon as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians for three consecutive years. The 2nd edition of his coauthored Entrepreneurship text was recently released by M.E. Sharpe. Mescon chaired a successful annual campaign for the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, whose board he also chaired. He is a trustee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and chairs for the Board of Regents the oversight team for the Shared Services Center. He also serves on the Advisory Council for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.
Mescon's wife, Lauren, has been an incredibly active volunteer at CSU and in the Columbus community, assisting with Open Door Community House, Right from the Start, Steeplechase, Congregation Shearith Israel, and has received special recognition from the Columbus Bar for launching the Legitimation Project at the Superior Court.
Details regarding a search for Mescon's successor will be forthcoming from the University System of Georgia.