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Zaccari Named President of Valdosta State University

Atlanta — December 31, 2001

Ronald M. Zaccari, president emeritus of West Liberty State College in West Liberty, West Virginia, today was named president of Valdosta State University by the Board of Regents and University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch, effective Jan. 7, 2002.

A professor of art and an accomplished sculptor, Zaccari served as president of West Liberty, a four-year public institution, from 1996 until he retired in August of this year to work on commissioned sculptures. Under Zaccari’s leadership, West Liberty State was able to turn around a declining enrollment, renovate existing campus facilities, add new facilities and launch additional program initiatives. His work was widely acclaimed, both on campus and in the community.

He will succeed Dr. Hugh Bailey, who has been president of Valdosta State since 1978. Bailey officially retired in June 2001, but agreed to stay on as president until his successor could take office.

Commenting on the appointment, Portch said, “Zaccari brings both experience and creativity to Valdosta State, and a clear sense of working collaboratively with faculty and staff.”

Regent John Hunt of Tifton, who chaired the Special Regents’ Committee that assisted with the search, commented that “Ron Zaccari has some fine ideas for helping the regional economy through higher education.”

Prior to his appointment at West Liberty State, Zaccari held a wide variety of administrative posts at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La., while simultaneously serving as a professor of art, including provost and vice president for academic affairs (1994-1996), associate provost for academic and student affairs (1990-1994), acting provost (1989-1990), assistant vice president for academic affairs (1987-1989), dean of the College of Education (1982-1987) and head of the Visual Arts Department (1977-1982). Southeastern Louisiana University is a public institution with an enrollment of 15,330.

Zaccari began his career in higher education in 1967 as an assistant professor of art at Edinboro State College in Edinboro, Pa. He also taught art as an associate professor and served as director of art education at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., from 1973 to 1977.

He holds a bachelor of science degree from the State University at Slippery Rock in Slippery Rock, Pa., a master of education degree from the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.), and a doctor of education degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Zaccari has been active with statewide and national professional and higher education associations and is the recipient of numerous federal, state and private sector grants for his work. The American Association of University Administrators recognized him for outstanding service and leadership to higher education in 2000, honoring him with its Tosney Award. In 1999, Penn State selected him as the recipient of its Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a College of Education alum, and Slippery Rock University’s Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

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