Brenau adds vice president and strengthens provost position

Aug 26, 2011
Rudi Kiefer

As part of an ongoing academic and administrative realignment, Brenau University named David Morrison vice president for communications and publications reporting directly to Brenau President Ed L. Schrader.

At the same time the university reinstated previous titles for the university’s top academic officer Jim Southerland, who will be provost and vice president for academic affairs. In that post he is responsible for all academic policies and procedures, hiring and overseeing faculty, and development of curriculum and academic programs.

“We believe the changes more precisely address the requirements of a modern academic institution and Brenau’s plans for the future,” said Schrader, “The organization also closely resembles what we find in peer institutions and other colleges and universities of our size and in those we would like to emulate. It is the kind of streamlining Brenau needs, too, as the university moves closer to a major fund-raising campaign.”

Brenau plans to double its enrollment to about 5,000 students in a little more than a decade with much of that growth occurring in graduate school and programs on regional campuses as well as a wide range of online and hybrid online/on campus programs leading to master’s and doctoral-level degrees. However, it will also maintain outstanding undergraduate education, including the 132-year-old residential Women’s College in Gainesville and coeducational programs online and on regional campuses.

The anticipated funding for that in 2010 dollars is more than $50 million, which includes costs for new and renovated buildings, endowments for faculty superstars in about 10 academic and research disciplines, and expanded technology for research, study and instruction.

The new organization elevates to department status the Office of Communications & Publications, which had been part of external relations and development departments. The OC&P team has responsibility for all internal and external communications, media relations, Web site development and maintenance, public relations, public affairs support, and many other university branding and marketing functions. That includes publication of the award-winning alumni publication, Brenau Window, and oversight of the university’s book publishing arm, Brenau University Press. In addition to its consultative role with the president and top administrators and day-to-day support for all departments and university-related activities, the department will have responsibility for developing and implementing the marketing strategy and communication plans for university fund-raising campaigns.

David Morrison joined the Brenau administration in 2007 after service as associate editor of the Auburn University alumni magazine and as a member of the journalism and communication faculty at Georgia State University. Prior to that, he was a reporter and editor for several publications, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and was a regional executive for national and international public relations firms. The Birmingham, Ala., native and U.S. Army veteran has a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jim Southerland has spent virtually his entire academic career at Brenau, more than four decades of which as a history professor. The Georgia native earned an associate’s degree at Columbus State College before completing bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in history at the University of Georgia. He joined the Brenau faculty in September 1969, and the British, American and Latin American history expert has twice receive the student Pan-Hellenic Council outstanding faculty award among other honors. In January 2009 he became vice president of academic services and dean of the faculty.

Going forward, the university provost and vice president of academic affairs will have additional responsibilities for overseeing the university’s registrar and Brenau Academy, the grades 9-12 residential prep school on the Gainesville campus that now offers a graduating high school seniors a two-year Associate of Arts degree through the Brenau “Early College” program. Tim Daniel, headmaster of Brenau Academy, will join the university Council of Deans as part of the change.

Originally published on 7/06/10