Bowie State's president going to Jackson State

March 27, 1992|By Lou Ferrara | Lou Ferrara,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- James E. Lyons, Sr., whose nine-year presidential term at Bowie State University saw the predominantly black institution's enrollment double, said yesterday he is to become president of Jackson State University in Mississippi.

Dr. Lyons said the position at the 6,500-student Jackson State, another historically black institution, will provide new opportunities.

"Just as I provided leadership [at Bowie] in the early '80's, I think it's an appropriate time for somebody else to come in and move the school from the '90s to the year 2000," Dr. Lyons said.

During his tenure, Bowie's enrollment reached 4,400, and the 127-year-old school now boasts the largest number of black graduate students in Maryland.

`Our great loss is certainly Jackson State's great gain," the University of Maryland system's Board of Regents said in a statement during an educational policy meeting.

Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, who oversees the 11-campus UM System, said an interim president will be appointed after Dr. Lyons leaves for Mississippi July 1, with a national search for a permanent successor to follow.

By instituting new student admission requirements, Dr. Lyons watched Bowie State's average SAT score rise to be consistent with the national average and competitive among other historically black colleges.

"It's been very rewarding to see a university grow," he said. "I've had students who did not attend this school who later wished they had."

Before taking the position with Bowie State, Dr. Lyons was the vice president for academic affairs at Delaware State College.

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