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Blanchard Named President at Georgia Southwestern

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Atlanta — June 13, 2007

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Dr. Kendall Blanchard
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Dr. Kendall A. Blanchard was named today as president of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) in Americus after the Board of Regents voted to make an exception in this case to its policy excluding the interim president of an institution from consideration as the permanent president.

Blanchard, who has been interim president of Georgia Southwestern State University since January, served from 1999 to 2002 as president of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., a traditional, four-year, liberal-arts college of 4,500 students. He had been serving as a professor of management and anthropology in the School of Business Administration at Fort Lewis College prior to his interim appointment at GSW.

Georgia Southwestern, which celebrated its centennial last year, has 2,300 students.

Regent Hugh Carter served as chair of the Special Regents’ Committee charged with interviewing the presidential finalists submitted by the campus-based Presidential Search and Advisory Committee and making a recommendation to the chancellor and full Board of Regents for final approval.

“In the short time since Dr. Blanchard’s arrival in Americus, he has won the wholehearted confidence of both campus and community leaders with his strong belief in participatory management and his collaborative style of leadership,” Carter said. “They feel he can make a real difference in the university and the community it serves.”

University System of Georgia Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Beheruz N. Sethna called Blanchard “an excellent choice for Georgia Southwestern’s next president, with his years of experience at all levels of academia.” He noted that Blanchard “is as delighted with Georgia Southwestern State and Americus as the campus and the community are with him. It’s an excellent fit.”

As president of Fort Lewis College, Blanchard completed two major building campaigns, secured the funds to complete two additional buildings, conducted a major marketing campaign that led to a new look and branding for the institution and saw the college’s enrollment reach a record high of more than 4,500 students. With an annual budget that topped $40 million the college had 200 full-time faculty, 315 other full-time employees and approximately 200 part-time faculty and staff at the time.

Before taking on the leadership of Fort Lewis College, Blanchard served as vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Tenn., from 1995 to 1999. During that time, he restructured the Dean’s Council to include faculty representation and developed a core-curriculum initiative and several faculty-development and faculty-recognition programs. Blanchard also developed a new community-college articulation program, a new student academic-support center and several new academic programs.

Blanchard also served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, from 1991 to 1995, where his responsibilities included 10 departments and several centers, approximately 155 full-time faculty and more than 75 part-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants. During this time, he helped develop a new honors program, initiated the groundwork for a new international-studies program, served as project director for a new Center for Justice Research and Education and received a $370,000 grant from the Federal Bureau of Justice Administration to complete the planning process for the center.

As dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, from 1987 to 1991, Blanchard developed and guided the implementation of a new core curriculum for the university, created a new division of foreign languages, helped develop and obtain approval from the Kansas Board of Regents for a new nursing program, organized the Kansas Council of Arts and Sciences Deans, and initiated the development of a state-wide discipline-specific assessment project.

In addition, from 1978 to 1987, he served as chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. It was during this era that he organized the Tennessee Anthropological Association.

Blanchard holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree, both in anthropology, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, earned in 1971 and 1970, respectively. He also earned a master of divinity degree in religion studies and anthropology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1968, and a bachelor’s degree in English, history and philosophy from Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, Ill., in 1964.

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