Office of the President

Office of the President

Preparing for Accreditation Visit Helps Us Focus on Progress

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 2:36pm -- Our regional accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, recently held its summer meeting. I was proud to join a team of Columbus State University colleagues as we prepare for our 10-year maintenance of accreditation visit.

Additionally, and as importantly, the university team is working across the institution in the development of our new Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP, linked to our mission and strategic plan serves to galvanize the focus of our institution and give us an overriding theme that will thread through thousands of courses, student activities, staff engagement and campus life for the foreseeable future.

While I have the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of SACSCOC, I learn a great deal from these meetings. I do so appreciate the work of our team and look forward to reporting on our progress over the next two years.

Trombone Concert Brings Top Artists to Columbus State Stage

Monday, June 30, 2014 at 3:25pm -- Saturday night, Lauren and I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Southeast Trombone Symposium Professors Choir under the direction of Professor Bradley Palmer from CSU's Schwob School of Music.

Trombone faculty from across the country were joined by artists from the New York Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and National Symphony, treating an enthusiastic audience to some wonderful music.

Pieces ranging from Classical Gas to the world premiere of Awakening (Anthony Barfield) reflected once again the pivotal role great faculty and great facilities can play in building reputation. We were honored to have these faculty and many of their students at our RiverPark campus and look forward to hosting the group again in the future.

CSU Connects with Students at Atlanta-Area Receptions

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:05pm -- Over the last two nights, a great team from CSU  recruiters, financial aid and other student affairs professionals, as well as our crack logistics experts — helped deliver two very special open houses: one in Alpharetta and the other in south Fulton County for admitted and prospective students.

I was proud of our colleagues, who work so hard in communicating our "first choice" agenda with prospective students and their parents. Special thanks go to Richard Holmes, a CSU Foundation trustee and distinguished alumus, for attending the south Fulton reception. The event reflected the progress and so many great initiatives taking place at our university.

Commencement Offers Fitting Farewell to 2013-2014

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:02pm --

Students hear from governor at commencement.
Students hear from governor at commencement.
It was wonderful to see the Columbus Civic Center packed Monday night for our spring 2014 commencement.

And it was the greatest of honors to have Gov. Nathan Deal deliver the commencement address. We also recognized Phil Tomlinson, chairman and CEO of TSYS, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Recognizing our graduates, from those receiving associate degrees to those donning doctoral hoods, is always an incredibly special and moving event — indeed, my favorite night of the year. We hope to see many of these graduates back on campus in the years to come.

Celebration Highlights CSU's Servant Leadership Commitment

Tueday, May 6, 2014 at 9:19pm -- I had the great opportunity today to join Mr. Bill Turner, Mr. John Turner and Dr. Ron King at a luncheon with close to 200 students, community agencies and friends of our renowned Servant Leadership Program.

Dr. Stuart Rayfield, CSU's Frank Brown Distinguished Chair in Servant Leadership, emceed this marvelous event, where graduates of our Servant Leadership senior class shared with the audience their insights and observations related to experiences in the program. Of special note was this year's partnership with The Literacy Alliance and the creation of a CSU chapter of the International Justice Mission to combat human trafficking.

Kudos go to these exceptional young men and women and their passion for service. I was so very proud of their individual and group accomplishments. They truly epitomize all that is so very impressive with today's Columbus State University graduates.

Sophomore Year Experience Helps Students Succeed

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 3:01pm -- Our Sophomore Year Experience at Columbus State University is off and running.

Dubbed, Y2@CSU. The eight Y2 Ambassadors participated in more than 20 events that entail academics, leadership, professional development and student activities. They helped rebrand and expand the Y2 program and made it a safe haven for sophomores.

Some of the unique successes of the students in this year's program include:

  • Shakiyla Ellis developed her leadership skills and sharpened her communication skills, which has opened doors for many leadership opportunities.
  • Nadiya Johnson improved her public speaking skills and is a great mentor to freshmen students.
  • Ambrionna Dallas, working with staff, organized a full week of Financial Success programs that allowed the Columbus State University community to become more fiscally conservative.
  • Victoria Owens has refined her ability to form lasting relationships with her peers and has done an outstanding job in planning for her future endeavors both professionally and personally.
  • Dawn Grier polished her ability to network with faculty/staff and develop her communication skills as well.
  • Brittany Reeves learned the value of building relationships and boosting team morale.
  • Briana Zeigler developed necessary tools to balance her time as a very busy student.
  • Chaiya Thomas’ willingness to pursue all aspects of the Y2 program is an indicator of her dedication as a student to Columbus State University.
My thanks go to our staff colleague, Ginny Rae Turner, who also directs our Financial Literacy Program in CSU's Center for Career Development for her leadership.

Leesburg Unites with CSU to Empower Educators

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 8:17pm --

What a great day it was in southwest Georgia, Leesburg in Lee County to be specific, as Columbus State University's College of Education and Health Professions signed an agreement with the Lee County School District to deliver classes in our Ed.D. program there. Dean Buckner, program director Dr. Michael Richardson and a group of dedicated faculty worked so very hard on this agreement, and we fully believe this will be the first of many to come. Kudos to the Leesburg community, school board and legislators for their wonderful endorsement and support.

Cougarthon Gets Students Moving for American Cancer Society

Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 7:48pm -- I am so very proud of student co-chairs Ravhen Maddox, Akilah Anderson and Kameron Griffin and their team of 16 colleagues for the launch of our first-ever Cougarthon dance event to support the American Cancer Society. This year's inaugural event, in our Student Recreation Center, honored CSU colleague Rex Whiddon and his wife, Lynne. Joined by hundreds of students, the six-hour event was a great social and service success. Our Center for Career Development colleague, volunteerism director Anne Brown provided exceptional staff support. We're so proud of CSU's enormous commitment to servant leadership.

Saturday Gives Columbus State a Chance to Truly Shine

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 1:24pm -- Saturday was a magnificent day on the Columbus State University campus. We started at 9 a.m. with a Discovery Day designed for admitted freshmen and transfer students.

The energy was palpable. Students were joined by family members for an immersion into campus life, course selection and an incredibly energetic introduction to CSU. My thanks to Amy Clines and her entire recruiting team for orchestrating a truly powerful day.

At 1 p.m., Lauren and I hosted Columbus State's Peach Belt champion women's basketball team, coaches Jonathan Norton and Quacy Timmons, and their children. Our student-athletes are exceptional. This is a wonderful group of women who had an exceptionally wonderful season ending in the NCAA regionals. Lauren and I were so very proud of them and honored to host the celebration at our home.

Saturday night at RiverCenter, our Schwob School of Music held its annual Kaleidoscope concert. This unbelievable event features every student in every studio in the Schwob school. For 70 minutes, the audience was mesmerized by the talent of our students and the leadership of our faculty.

It's amazing how, all in a single day, anyone can see why Columbus State is a First Choice university.

One CSU Events Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainability

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:17pm -- I am so very proud of our students, faculty and staff for planning another round of One CSU events on April 18-26. So many have worked diligently to support a week-long commitment to sustainability. As a university, we are committed to reducing the university's ecological footprint through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions campus wide, to enhancing university environmental stewardship efforts and to fostering the concepts of sustainability and environmental ethics in the curriculum. Please go to the One CSU sustainability page and join us in some of these incredibly important events, activities and programs.

CSU Shines with Day at the Capitol

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 6:15pm --

My sincere thanks go to the great team that represented our university in such a wonderful manner at the state Capitol in Atlanta on Monday. The exhibits -- Oxbow Meadows, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, ROTC, Google Glass and others -- were all well-attended, and Steve Morse and the CSU Logistics team outdid themselves again. Great meetings with so many legislators and senators. Our delegation was terrific, and we appreciated the fact that Chancellor Huckaby and Dr. Steve Wrigley stopped by as well. A special shout-out is also due to the 25 students who joined us -- during Spring Break!

Our Student Musicians Continue to Amaze Me

Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:44pm -- On Thursday, Feb. 13, I watched an amazing concert by the Columbus State University Singers and Choral Union, conducted by visiting professor Frode Gundersen and accompanied by Janie Lee Bullock and Susan Hoskins. What a show! From Greek folk songs to Brahms, the performance filled Legacy Hall with incredible sound and reflected the great partnership between the Schwob School and the community, with a number of friends of CSU performing in the Choral Union.

Last night, 17 students in professor Sergiu Schwartz's Violin Studio mesmerized an audience with their Spotlight on Violin! Studio Gala. The students from eight countries and five U.S. states, both undergraduate and graduate, were absolutely superb, and again Susan Hoskins and a very talented graduate student, Alina Sarkisyan, accompanied these students. Professor Schwartz's graduates go on to attend great music graduate programs and perform professionally around the world. A great night for CSU.

Cougar Leadership Conference Holds Promise for Students

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:23pm -- Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Gina Sheeks, our vice president for Student Affairs; Collins Brown, assistant director for Student Life and Development; and student leaders OluwaKemi OluwaDamilola Faderin, Mallery Spinks and Victoria Weaver, the Cougar Leadership Conference, with the theme of "Stir Up the Leader in You," is off and running.

Well over 100 CSU students participated in the inaugural event, comprised of a series of engaging workshops and an after-dinner keynote address by acclaimed speaker Justin Jones-Fosu.

This is a most important initiative at our university focused exclusively on developing student leadership talent. In March, participants will have the great pleasure of attending a speech by Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac. All told, this represents a terrific series of programs for our students.

Regent Kessel Stelling Tells Business Students, Faculty about Progress at Synovus

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:05pm -- Our Turner College of Business hosted a terrific lecture this week by Kessel Stelling, chairman and CEO of Synovus, as well as a member of our state Board of Regents.

Regent Stelling gave a fantastic overview of the enormous progress made by Synovus over the past few years. He discussed the TARP repayment, the "ringing of the bell" at the New York Stock Exchange by the Synovus team and the culture that has been so unique and impressive at Synovus.

Former Synovus executive and CSU Foundation trustee Jimmy Yancey was in attendance, as was Gardiner Garrad, CSU Foundation trustee and former Synovus board member. The students and faculty heard great lessons from a great leader. Kudos to Dean Hadley and team.

Governor Offers Vivid Tribute to CSU's Command College

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:05pm --

Gov. Nathan Deal has been front and center among state officials warning the public about winter storm threats this week. Yesterday, during a nationally televised news conference, an alumnus with a sharp eye noticed the governor, right, was wearing a bright red jacket bearing the official seal of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College.

Columbus State has been home to the Command College since 1995, when the university formalized a partnership with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. Since then, more than 1,200 law enforcement managers from throughout Georgia and beyond have gone through extensive coursework here to obtain a master's degree specifically tailored to help them do their jobs better.

Command College Director Archie Rainey, a longtime CSU professor of criminal justice, presented the distinctive jacket to the governor in 2011, shortly after he took office. As you can see on the Command College's homepage, Dr. Rainey (standing just to the right of the governor in that photo) was among 15 state law enforcement leaders meeting with the governor at the Capitol that day.

We're proud of the level of professionalism among Georgia law enforcement that our Command College has been able to help foster over the years. The governor's red Command College jacket offers a vivid reminder of the work they do during times of crisis and beyond.

Faculty Artists Offer Gold Medal Performance

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 4:18pm -- Sunday: I joined a packed audience at Legacy Hall to witness a spellbinding concert by professors Alexander Kobrin (piano), Sergiu Schwartz (violin) and Wendy Warner (cello). These three faculty, each holding an endowed distinguished chair in our Schwob School of Music, performed Schubert and Mendelssohn pieces that enthralled an incredibly enthusiastic audience for two hours.

These faculty attract from around the world best-of-class students who enhance our university population and add incredible diversity to our student body. Endowments create a much-needed competitive advantage for public universities, providing a competitive edge in recruiting outstanding faculty.

Of course, our Saunders Center for Music Studies, thanks to the generosity of the Schiffman family, is  an "All-Steinway" facility, and this too is so very important. In the midst of all the Olympic excitement in Sochi, it was incredibly gratifying to see a gold medal performance from our faculty in Uptown Columbus at the RiverCenter's Legacy Hall.

CSU Theatre Offers Powerful Drama in Stop Kiss

Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:34pm --

Congratulations are in order for these Columbus State University theatre students:

  • Quanesha Wilson
  • Brooke Pulaski
  • Danny Blanda
  • Matthew Scott
  • Alden Burroughs
  • Kayla Reid
  • Rachel Wolovick

They all offer compelling performances in CSU Theatre's latest production, Stop Kiss. This powerful drama is directed by professor Becky Becker; professor Sam Renner handles scene and technical design; lighting is the work of professor Scott Parker; sound is by professor Krystal Kennel; and costumes are by professor Steven Graver.

All contributions were exceptional. As I looked at how students in various classes contributed to this production, it reinforced how very fortunate we are to have such a compelling and engaged theatre program at our university.

World-Class Piano Concert Reflects Gift's Impact

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:03pm --

Often, the term "world class" is embraced by universities intent on using compelling terminology to describe key initiatives or programs that hopefully will be considered competitive and successful.

Our Schwob School of Music's Pianomania concert last week set a new definition for "best of class" and is reflective of the power of faculty recruiting and its impact on student performance. It is a pleasure to share with you a letter written by Ike Van Meter, director of institutional sales for Steinway, following his attendance at Pianomania:

Please accept my most sincere thanks for inviting me to attend the 2014 "Pianomania" fundraising concert at CSU this past Sunday. You may recall that I have attended this event every year since its inception and I am writing today to say that it is now very obvious that each year at this event the bar of excellence has been not only placed but literally shoved higher and higher. After last year's performance (which was excellent by the way) I didn't think a performance of mostly college students could get much better. I was dead wrong. Sunday's Pianomania performance exhibited a level of artistry, musicianship and technical, wizardry that was far beyond impressive. Alex Kobrin and his current piano studio at CSU are nothing short of amazing. I've never heard a student performance that comes close to touching what I witnessed that afternoon. 

I was so impressed with the experience that first thing yesterday morning I wrote to Sally Coveleskie, national director of institutional sales at Steinway & Sons in New York, to tell her of what a fabulous concert that you had presented. In no uncertain terms I mentioned to her, because of the huge and easily demonstrable difference that the All-Steinway program has made at CSU, that if any school deserves to be the "poster child" for the All-Steinway School program, it is CSU and its Schwob School of Music. I believe that the story of how Maxine Schiffman's gift, enabling CSU to become All-Steinway, has allowed your institution to attract and retain superbly talented, highly qualified faculty and students (not to mention the story of the progress that you have made since then) needs to be shouted from the roof tops of every Steinway dealer in America. What I heard and saw on Sunday was a fabulous testament to what "can be" when the right people, with the right equipment come together to make a difference in our world. This is a tale that should to be told... and told often.  

Also... it did not escape my attention that Alex's student, Tatiana Muzanova, was the first prize winner in the Artist Division at the 2013 Liszt-Garrison Piano competition in Baltimore this past October. I imagine this is the start of a trend which, if Sunday's performance is any indication, will certainly continue and increase in frequency all the while bringing greater welcome attention and recruiting power to the Schwob School and CSU.

Congratulations on a creating and nurturing such a fabulous program and its absolutely stunning results.

Ike M. Van Meter
Director, Institutional Sales
Steinway Piano Galleries 

Bidding a Memorable Final Farewell to our Fall Semester

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 4:25pm -- Tonight is our fall commencement, and we are so very excited to honor Ray and Evelyn Crowley, long-term supporters of our university with honorary doctorates. The Board of Regents makes these decisions with great thought, and clearly the Crowleys are most worthy recipients. We are delighted to have state Rep. Earl Ehrhart deliver our commencement address.

I just submitted the final grades for my entrepreneurship class. I was so very impressed with the caliber of work of these seniors and particularly proud to have four study-abroad students from Germany in the class. The final business plan presentations were outstanding.

I attended Brandon Smith's final percussion performance in the past week. Brandon is a student of professor Paul Vaillancourt, and this recital was given in partial fulfillment for the Bachelor of Music degree. In the final number, Brandon was joined by fellow students Joel Castro, Lacey Guyton and Jonathan Mashburn as they performed The Invisible Men with the 1907 silent move, Les Invisibles. by the Pathe Brothers playing on the screen behind them. A truly great evening!

Finally, I received the nicest holiday note and thoughts from Tamara Comer ... This reinforces why we are all in higher education.

Days Leading up to Thanksgiving Offer Swirl of Activities

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 9:43pm -- Chelsee Pike, our Student Government Association president, was kind enough to invite me to join her at Popcorn with the SGA President today in our Davidson Student Center.

This begins the crush of pre-Thanksgiving, pre-final exam commitments and gives our students some added support and nutrition during the final weeks of the semester.

Tonight is the launch of our Cougar men's basketball season, and the women's cross country team has landed at the NCAA national championships in Spokane, Wash.

Over the next week, students in our wind ensemble and our philharmonic orchestra will perform, and our fall opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, starts tonight as well. The quality of student engagement is high and that contributes to the overall quality of our university.

CSU's 4th President

Timothy Mescon became Columbus State University's fourth president on Aug. 1, 2008. Previously, he was dean of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. He is the co-author of four books and also has published more than 200 articles and case studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a B.A. from Tulane University. Mescon was the founding dean of the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury (Md.) University and also has served on the faculties of Arizona State University and the University of Miami. He's served as a visiting lecturer at universities in England, China and Israel.

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