Finally, the big reveal

More than a year ago JMU learned of a momentous change on the horizon, the advent of a new president to lead the university. Since that time, there has been considerable speculation as to who that individual would be. Today is the big reveal. 

At JMU, we have little experience with such a changing of the guard, but despite our lack of practice, we have always managed to do it very well. I asked Andy Perrine, associate vice president of communications and marketing, why. These are his thoughts: 

A few years back I chatted with Steve Whisnant about how remarkably intact the JMU culture remained after eras of total change and growth. Dr. Whisnant is head of the JMU Physics and Astronomy program, and he approached the conversation as a physicist might — analytically but with a wide-open perspective. When I asked him what factor might have allowed the university’s collaborative, friendly and social academic culture to survive changes that might have killed it in other organizations undergoing such change, he responded unequivocally, “It’s the hiring process.” Dr. Whisnant was certain that campus held a deep-seated and consistent sense of who was right for JMU, and that this sense guided decisions about hiring. Over time, this perpetuated our culture through enormous changes.

Today is another big opportunity for hiring to perpetuate our culture. At 1. p.m. today, the James Madison University Board of Visitors selects only the sixth president in 103 years. The University is excited to meet our new leader, and you can watch the announcement at



About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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