Bell Named President of Macon State College
Atlanta — January 13, 1998
Dr. David Arnold Bell, former vice president for administrative affairs at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas, and current interim president of Macon State College in Macon, has been named to the presidency.
Bell, 52, has served as interim president of the college since August 1, 1997. His permanent appointment was recommended by University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch and unanimously approved today by the Board of Regents. The appointment is effective immediately.
“Macon State College is at a critical juncture in its history, as it embarks on its new mission and begins offering three new high-demand bachelor programs,” said Chancellor Portch. “In addition, several senior administrators are preparing to retire, creating vacancies in key leadership positions vital to the institution. These issues, combined with the campus’ and community’s enthusiastic response to Dr. Bell’s impressive performance, led to this action. Last fall, Macon State College began offering three new baccalaureate degrees in health services administration, health information management and information technology – all areas in which Bell has extensive experience.
Regent William S. Clark of Waycross, current chairman of the board of regents, said Bell’s appointment reflects “the universal acclaim he is receiving for his service as acting president of the college. He has very quickly assessed the community’s needs of this institution, and he is rapidly making his mark by meeting those demands.”
That sentiment was echoed by Regent Charlie Jones of Macon, who said: “David Bell has had an enormous impact in the Macon area over the past several months. We are delighted to welcome him into this community, and look forward to further facilitating his contributions as a new president within the University System of Georgia.”
Prior to joining Macon State College in August of 1997, Bell had served in the vice presidency at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth – one of eight academic medical centers in Texas – since January 1995. Bell managed a capital budget of $21 million in connection with the construction of a new ambulatory care center, and a $3 million divisional budget. He completed a strategic action agenda for the health science center, lead the restructuring of the communications and advancement programs, and initiated a pilot program in telemedicine with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He also chaired the Center’s task force in distance and distributed learning. Other accomplishments included the initiation of a new facilities master plan, and the establishment of an office to support faculty and staff professional development. In addition to his administrative duties, Bell was an active professor teaching applied ethics in the Department of Medical Humanities.
Concurrent with his position at North Texas, Bell served as a member of the board of director’s executive committee for Strategy 2000 (Fort Worth’s economic diversification board) and as chair of Fort Worth’s Medical Industry Initiative. He also was appointed by the mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, to chair a community task force consisting of physicians, scientists and representatives of the business community to establish a medical industry park. In addition, Bell served as project director for the University of North Texas’ Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, designed to serve as a national center using telecommunications to coordinate research at sites nationwide. Bell’s responsibilities included working with a national healthcare partner to develop the project and implement it across Texas, including fundraising activities designed to support the recruitment of a national team of Alzheimer’s researchers.
Bell’s professional experience also includes service as associate vice president for University and Health Science Center Affairs and executive assistant to the chancellor at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas from 1993 to 1995; project director for the Dallas Education Consortium from 1994 to 1995 (a P-16 effort); associate provost for institutional planning and research at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina from 1991 to 1993; associate dean of the South Carolina Honors College from 1986 to 1988; dean for academic affairs (1982-1986) and chair of the division of arts and letters (1978-1982) at the University of South Carolina in Lancaster, South Carolina.
Bell holds an A.B. in philosophy degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York; a M.A. in philosophy from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. His honors and awards include his 1987 appointment as a research fellow at the Center for Business Ethics in Waltham, Massaschusetts; a 1981 Research and Productive Scholarship Award from the University of South Carolina; and a 1970-1973 teaching fellowship with the department of philosophy at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Bell is married to Dr. Nora Kizer Bell, a philosopher and bioethicist who recently assumed the president’s post at Wesleyan College, an independent college in Macon. The couple have three children; Caroline Bell, Elizabeth Lafitte, and Thomas, a student at Texas A&M University.