Rivers Named President of Fort Valley State University
Atlanta — February 8, 2006
Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers
Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida A&M University, in Tallahassee, Fla., was named today as president of Fort Valley State University by the Board of Regents and University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr.
Rivers, who earned a bachelor’s degree in social science education with honors from Fort Valley State University in 1973, will assume the presidency of the institution on March 14, 2006.
Former Regent Connie Cater chaired the Special Regents Committee charged with interviewing the presidential finalists and making a recommendation to the full Board of Regents for final approval. “Dr. Rivers is an excellent choice for Fort Valley State University at this time,” Cater stated. “I am very confident in his ability to provide the institution with excellent leadership and help it realize its full potential.”
Chancellor Davis said, “I am quite pleased with the board’s selection of Dr. Rivers for this important presidency. We look forward to welcoming him to Georgia, and to supporting his plans to drive Fort Valley to the next level of excellence.”
Rivers has served as dean of FAMU’s College of Arts and Sciences – the institution’s largest college, with approximately 5,000 students, 240 full-time faculty and an annual budget of $60 million – since 2002. He counts among his major accomplishments the reorganization of the college, increasing sponsored-research funding by 25 percent, increasing the graduate enrollment by 15 percent annually, sending more than 500 arts and sciences graduates on to enroll in various doctoral programs, and engineering the reaffirmation of 11 teacher education programs by the Florida Department of Education.
Rivers’ association with FAMU dates back to 1977, when he was hired as an assistant professor of history. From 1990 to 2001, he served as director of FAMU’s largest graduate degree program, the Master’s of Applied Social Sciences Program. For five years previous to that appointment, Rivers was chair of FAMU’s Department of History, Political Science, Economics & African-American Studies. Rivers began his administrative career in 1984, with a one-year appointment as director of FAMU’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Before joining the FAMU faculty, Rivers taught history and political science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1974 to 1977.
He has won national awards for his published books on slavery and on the African Methodist Episcopal Zion churches. His many awards include a 1992 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education “Teacher of the Year” award. He serves on a number of historical, civic and business boards, with extensive involvement as a member of the National Parks System Advisory Board, as well as a range of state and national historical societies.
Rivers holds a Master of Arts in American history and political science from Villanova University, in Villanova, Pa.; a Doctor of Arts in American history and curriculum development from Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh; and a Doctor of Philosophy in African-American and cultural studies from Goldsmiths College at the University of London, England.