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West Georgia’s Sethna Appointed Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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Atlanta — September 14, 1999

Dr. Beheruz (pronounced BAY-ROOZ) Sethna, president of the State University of West Georgia, in Carrolton, Ga., has been named by Chancellor Stephen R. Portch as the interim senior vice chancellor of academic affairs for the University System of Georgia.

In his new role, Sethna will be responsible for meeting the academic needs of more than 206,000 students and over 8,000 University System faculty members. According to Portch, 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 October 15, 1999. Upon its conclusion, Sethna will return to his presidential position.

Sethna has served as president of the State University of West Georgia – a campus of 8,700 undergraduate and graduate students and 350 faculty – since August 1994.

During his presidency at West Georgia, Sethna has been credited with 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 first such named endowment. Sethna also obtained approval from the Board of Regents for: the campus’ Master Plan, $51 million in capital projects, the awarding of the the University’s first honorary doctorates, a stand-alone doctoral program and the state’s first Honors College. While serving as president, Sethna also has maintained his faculty status, as professor of business administration teaching undergraduate, lower-division students at the University; students selected him as the Honors Professor of the Year in 1999.

“Dr. Sethna was one of my first presidential hires, and he has distinguished himself as a University System president,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “It pleases me greatly that he is now willing to assume temporarily this new leadership role at the Board of Regents offices, where he will be able to expand his impact into the policymaking arena, and help us carry out some critical initiatives during the coming year. I am looking forward particularly to tapping his expertise in the technology arena, which continues to be a high priority for the System.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sethna said: “I am honored and delighted to be able to serve in this interim position. There will be a tremendous amount for me to learn, as I pursue the agenda of the Board of Regents and the chancellor. The good news is that I am eager to learn, and I suspect that there will not be a shortage of people eager to educate me.”

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 University, Sethna served first as director of Graduate Programs and then later as a tenured professsor and chair of the Department of Marketing and Management Information Systems at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.

Previous to pursuing his academic career, Sethna worked as a senior-level manager in multi-national companies such as Lever Brothers and Richardson-Vicks (now Procter and Gamble) and with Clarion-McCann Advertising of (city).

Sethna has received numerous national and international honors, and is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. He also has earned national recognition for his teaching innovations from the Decision Sciences Institute, for six consecutive years, in the areas of marketing, product management, management information systems, decision support systems, CAD/CAM/computer-integrated manufacturing, and communications across the curriculum.

Sethna has authored more than 50 scholarly papers, and a book, Research Methods in Marketing and Management.

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 a master’s in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management, in Ahmedabad, in 1973. He also is an alumnus of Columbia University in New York, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 1975 and a Ph.D. in business in 1976. In addition, Sethna participated in postdoctoral programs in 1986 at Indiana University and in 1991 at Harvard University.

Sethna is married to Madhavi Sethna, and the couple have two children, Anita and Shaun, both of whom are President’s Scholars at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Chancellor Portch has appointed Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, Jr., currently vice president of academic affairs at State University of West Georgia, as acting president of the institution, while Sethna serves the University System.

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