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October 2010 Issue

Macon State College President David Bell to Retire June 2011
President David Bell, Macon State College

Macon State College President David Bell to Retire June 2011

Macon State President Dr. David A. Bell has announced his intention to complete his term as president, effective at the end of the current academic year.

Bell made the announcement at the end of an Academic Council meeting, which the president had called to discuss several current administrative initiatives. In his remarks, Bell tied his decision to the college’s success in developing excellent academic programs, as well as the building of modern, efficient campuses in two locations. He said that after he leaves the president’s position he will return to his scholarly study of philosophy, in which he has his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

“My plan is to make a transition on June 30, 2011, then spend a concentrated period of time to continue my research and teaching interests in philosophy,” Bell said.

Bell, 65, is the fifth and longest-serving president of the 42-year-old college. He will have completed 14 years as president of Macon State by June 30. Since he became president in 1997 – first as the interim president – enrollment has nearly doubled from about 3,600 at that time to well over 6,400 today; bachelor’s degrees have increased from 3 to 18; and the Board of Regents has invested over $90 million in construction at the Macon and Warner Robins campuses. In May 2011, Macon State College will award its 3,000th bachelor’s degree since attaining four-year status in 1997.

With Bell’s announcement, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia will begin the process of identifying Bell’s successor, aiming to have that person ready to take office on July 1.

Presidents of the USG’s state colleges report to Robert E. Watts, the system’s executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer. Commenting on Bell’s announcement, Watts said, “President Bell has led the transformation of Macon State College from a two-year institution to a vibrant and growing state college, now offering a wide range of bachelor’s degrees that promote economic development in Middle Georgia. Macon State College was the first state college in the University System. Under Dr. Bell’s outstanding leadership, it has become the model for all the state colleges that followed. He is an exemplary president and will leave a tremendous legacy in the University System of Georgia.”

In his announcement on Sept. 24, Bell told the faculty that during his remaining nine months his focus, and that of the college, would remain on efforts to improve student success, efforts that are underway this fall. They include a new freshman-year-experience program, a restructuring of learning support programs, and the college’s first on-campus housing facility, College Station.

“We have much work ahead of us this year, important work, work that matters,” Bell said. “It has been my privilege to be a part of a positive, forward-looking team of faculty and administrators who work constantly to make this college better – not for the college’s sake, but for the benefit of our students and our region.”

Information from Macon State College. For more information, contact Bill Weaver, Macon State College Director of Communications, at 478-757-2549.

Posted by Sonja Roberts on October 29, 2010
Published in: On Campus, Presidents

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