Sethna Named Board of Regents’ Interim Senior Vice Chancellor of Academics and Fiscal Affairs
Atlanta — May 17, 2006
Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna
Dr. Beheruz (pronounced BAY-ROOZ) Sethna, president of the University of West Georgia, in Carrolton, Ga., has been named by Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. as the interim senior vice chancellor of academics and fiscal affairs for the University System of Georgia.
Sethna will fill the USG post being vacated by Senior Vice Chancellor Daniel S. Papp, who was named president of Kennesaw State University in February. Papp will assume that post in June.
Sethna will assume this interim appointment in the University System Office for the second time in the past six years, having previously held a similar post during 1999-2000, after the departure of former Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs James Muyskens.
In his new role, Sethna again will be responsible for meeting the academic needs of more than 250,000 students and approximately 10,000 University System faculty members. According to Davis, Sethna will serve in the interim position while a national search is conducted to permanently fill the senior vice chancellor’s post. The appointment will begin on June 1. Upon its conclusion, Sethna will return to his presidential position.
Sethna has served as president of the University of West Georgia – a campus of more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 400 faculty – since August 1994.
During his presidency at West Georgia, Sethna has been credited with leading a number of significant achievements. The institution launched Georgia’s first Advanced Academy for gifted high-school students, and obtained the University’s largest endowed gift ($1.5 million) from The Roy Richards Foundation to name the College of Business – the institution’s first such named endowment. Sethna also obtained approval from the Board of Regents for the awarding of the University’s first honorary doctorates, a stand-alone doctoral program, and the state’s first Honors College. During his tenure, capital projects constructed or approved have exceeded $100 million, and the endowment has grown by more than 700 percent. While serving as president, Sethna also has maintained his faculty status, as professor of business administration teaching undergraduate, lower-division students at the University and serving as research advisor to student teams. Students selected him as the Honors Professor of the Year in 1999, and several students have garnered national recognition for their research based on his course.
“Dr. Sethna is an outstanding and nationally recognized academic leader who pursues academic excellence on a daily basis,” said Chancellor Davis. “We are fortunate to enjoy his committed service to the University System, and I am pleased he has once again accepted the call to service in this critical administrative role.”
Commenting on his appointment, Sethna said: “One of the benefits of being part of the University System is the opportunity to lead an institution, as well as make contributions to a large and complex system of public higher education. I am honored by this appointment and look forward to serving in this role, as the chancellor focuses on building his permanent management team.”
Before joining the University System of Georgia, Sethna served in two leadership posts at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, first as dean of the College of Business, from 1989 to 1992, and later as interim executive vice president for academic and student affairs from 1992 to 1994. In both positions, he also held a tenured and named professorship. Prior to joining Lamar, Sethna served for 13 years at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, where he was a tenured professor and held administrative appointments such as director of graduate programs and chair of the department.
Both previous to and during his academic career, Sethna worked as a senior-level manager in multi-national companies such as Lever Brothers and Richardson-Vicks (now a part of Procter and Gamble).
Sethna has authored or co-authored more than 60 scholarly papers, and a book, Research Methods in Marketing and Management . He has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, and has earned national recognition seven times for his teaching innovations from the Decision Sciences Institute. He has been named two times among the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine. He has over 200 regional, national, and international media appearances, on television, radio, and in the press, including CBS’ Early Show and CNN’s American Stories.
Sethna brings extensive academic training in engineering, information systems and business to his new appointment. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1971 from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, in 1973. He earned his M.Phil. in 1975 and a Ph.D. in business in 1976 from Columbia University in New York. In addition, Sethna has postdoctoral qualifications from Indiana University and Harvard University.
Sethna is married to Madhavi Sethna, and the couple has two children. Anita Sethna, MD, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University’s Medical School, is currently a resident at Emory. Shaun Sethna, JD, a graduate of Georgia Tech and Columbia Law School, is currently an attorney-at-law.
Chancellor Davis has appointed Dr. Thomas J. Hynes Jr., currently vice president of academic affairs at the University of West Georgia, as acting president of UWG while Sethna serves the University System.