ATLANTA — More than a month ago, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents knew who they wanted to become the next president of Columbus State University.
On May 5, Timothy S. Mescon, dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, interviewed for the job to replace Frank Brown.
“It was clear Tim has the ability to do this job,” said Columbus native Donald M. Leebern Jr., who chaired the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at CSU.
Wednesday afternoon, Mescon, 53, got the job he wanted. He was named the fourth president in the 50-ye a r h i s t o r y o f t h e university.
“He’s a real people person,” Leebern said. “He will go into Columbus and reach out to the community.”
Mescon, who had been a finalist for the Kennesaw State presidency two years ago, is excited about the opportunity in Columbus.
“I am honored, humbled a n d ex c i t e d b y t h i s exceptional opportunity,” Mescon said. “Honored by the confidence shown in me, humbled to be following the legacy of Frank Brown and excited by the opportunities presented.”
The Regents approved a $300,000 annual compensation package for Mescon. That includes housing and other allowances. Brown’s package this year was worth $201,849.
Mescon, who was not at the Regents meeting, said he anticipates starting his new job in early August. Brown, who has been president for 20 years, retires at the end of the month.
“I would love to be there in time to meet the faculty, go to new student events b e fo re s c h o o l s t a r t s , ” Mescon said.
Classes start Aug. 21. The university will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sept. 25.
Mescon was one of seven candidates brought to the Columbus campus for two days of interviews in April. He was one of four names t h e C S U P re s i d e n t i a l Search and Advisory Committee submitted to the Board of Regents on May 2.
In addition to Mescon, the committee sent the names of Jane T. Upshaw, chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort; Patrick Schloss, president of Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.; and Charles F. Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
At that point, the decision was in the hands of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at Columbus State University, chaired by Leebern.
Mescon, Harrington and Upshaw were interviewed May 5 in Atlanta by the Regents committee. Schloss, who withdrew before the Atlanta interviews, was named the new president at Valdosta State University on Wednesday.
Upshaw withdrew the d ay a f t e r t h e At l a n t a interviews.
“We had three great can didates submitted to the b o a rd , ” L e eb e r n s a i d Wednesday just before the Regents’ vote. “That’s a compliment to Columbus State University and the quality and caliber of its education.”
Leebern said while the field of candidates was strong, Mescon clearly stood out.
“Tim had so many great attributes you can’t name them all,” he said. “We’ll welcome him and work hard to make sure he’s successful.”
Mescon had been at Ken nesaw State for 18 years and built Coles College into a respected business school that offers under graduate, MBA and doctor ate degrees.
The 2008 edition of Prin ceton Review named Coles College one of the best business schools in the nation. The executive MBA program, among the largest in the U.S., was ranked third in the nation in ebusiness and 10th in team work by BusinessWeek.
“For nearly two decades Tim Mescon has worked tirelessly and with great success to build the reputa tion, programs and out reach of KSU’s Michael J Coles College of Business,” said Kennesaw State Presi dent Daniel S. Papp. “He has been innovative and forward-thinking in his approach to business edu cation. Under Tim’s leader ship, Coles has become one of the best and biggest business school programs in the state and in the country.”
He will be missed, Papp said.
“From the impressive faculty that he recruited, to the cultivation of high profile alumni and business leaders, to the extensive marketing efforts that he undertook,” Papp said “Tim pulled out all of the stops to get the college rec ognized on the national map. We are extremely grateful for his immense contributions to KSU, and w i s h h i m wel l a s h e assumes the presidency of Columbus State University.”