Retired professor picked as interim boss at ASU

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 22, 2010

Retired biology professor and Mississippi School Board Association officer Dr. Norris Edney has been named interim president of Alcorn State University beginning Feb. 1.

The Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning unanimously voted Thursday to appoint Edney to take the place of Dr. George E. Ross, a Utica native who is leaving the university on Feb. 5 to return to Michigan.

“Dr. Edney is the perfect fit for this position because he is knowledgeable about the university and is well-respected among faculty and staff,” IHL Board President Scott Ross said in a statement.

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Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds agreed.

“As a former professor and dean, Dr. Edney will be able to meet faculty, staff and student needs on a personal level during this transition period,”  he said.

Edney, who was a biology professor at Alcorn for 31 years, has held multiple positions at the university including dean of Graduate Studies, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and chairman of the Department of Biology.

“Most of my career has been spent at Alcorn State University, so this is a very exciting opportunity,” Edney, 73, said in a statement. “I look forward to serving in this role as the board proceeds in finding a permanent replacement.”

Edney is board president for the Natchez-Adams School District, a position he has held since 2001, and in November, was elected to serve as vice president of MSBA for the current school year. He also served as Southwestern Athletic Conference president from 1979-84.

Edney received a bachelor of science in biology from Tougaloo College, a master’s degree in biology from Antioch College and two doctorates, one in conservation from Michigan State University and the other in education administration from the University of Wisconsin.

His professional awards include Outstanding Agriculture Researcher, Research Scientist of the Year and SWAC Hall of Fame.

Ross, who announced his resignation in December after serving two years as the 17th president, has accepted a new position as president of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., where he had been vice president of finance and administrative services before moving to Lorman. He has also served in administrative roles at Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University. He joined Alcorn after the 2007 death of Clinton Bristow Jr.

The Alcorn Lorman campus, which also has programs in Natchez and Vicksburg, has 3,339 students.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at