December 4, 2009/The Detroit News
New campus leader brings vision back to school he left in '08
By Shelia Byrd, Associated Press
Central Michigan University's new president will come back to the campus he left to take a job leading Alcorn State University in Mississippi.
George E. Ross, 58, will become CMU's next president March 1, the two schools announced Thursday. Before coming to Alcorn State in January 2008, Ross had served as Central Michigan's vice president for finance and administrative services.
Gail Torreano, chairwoman for the Board of Trustees at CMU, said in a statement that Ross has a strong vision for the university.
"His extensive experience successfully leading higher education institutions, excellent financial management background and high energy are well suited to lead CMU forward in these difficult economic times."
In a statement released by the College Board, Ross said he was honored to have served Alcorn and the state "during such a transformative time in the university's history." He said he didn't actively seek the Central Michigan presidency.
The Central Michigan trustees board said it settled on Ross after a national search.
Since July 1, Kathleen M. Wilbur has served as interim president at Central Michigan. She'll resume responsibilities as vice president of government relations and public affairs in March 2010. Wilbur succeeded President Michael Rao, who resigned in June 2009 to become president at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Ross was out of his office Thursday and couldn't immediately be reached by the Associated Press.
In a release from Central Michigan, Ross said he was "humbled by the confidence shown in me by the Board of Trustees, and I am excited by this tremendous opportunity to positively advance lives and futures through higher education at CMU."
Alcorn has a fall enrollment of 3,339 students. Central Michigan's enrollment is about 27,000.
A certified public accountant, Ross held positions in corporate and nonprofit finance and management before finding work in higher education, according to a statement by Central Michigan. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. He completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard University. Ross is a graduate of Flint Northern High School.