Robert Witt serves as the chief executive officer of the Alabama System, Chancellor, exercising such executive powers as are necessary for the appropriate governance of the System. The Chancellor is the principal link between the Board’s responsibility for policy and each President’s responsibility for operations. The Chancellor reports directly to the Board regarding the current affairs of all components of the System and discusses with the Board basic issues, new directions, and policy recommendations. The Chancellor directs the planning, development, and appraisal of all activities of the System, and is responsible for their coordination and implementation. The Chancellor also provides linkage between the System and various components of state government, as well as other educational groups and organizations.
On March 5, 2012, Dr. Robert E. Witt was unanimously elected Chancellor of The University of Alabama System, which is Alabama’s largest higher education enterprise. Comprised of doctoral research universities in Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa as well as the UAB Health System, the UA System budget exceeds $4.6 billion with student enrollment of 57,000 and more than 26,000 employees.
Prior to becoming UA System Chancellor, Dr. Witt was President of The University of Alabama, assuming that post in 2003. During his nine-year tenure he was responsible for successfully undertaking an ambitious plan for academic growth and achievement that has positioned UA as one of America’s fastest growing public universities. The University of Alabama’s Fall 2011 freshman class was the largest in history and ranked second in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars.
Before being recruited to Alabama, Dr. Witt was President of the University of Texas at Arlington from 1995-2003. He began his 35-year career in higher education in the state of Texas in 1968 when he joined the business school faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, rising through the ranks as chair and associate dean. In 1985 he was named dean of the UT business school, which was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top seven schools of business in the world.
Robert Witt received his B.A. in economics from Bates College, his M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and his Ph.D. from Penn State University. In 2011 he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor, comprised of 100 living Alabamians elected on the basis of service to the state.
The Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, is the 25th president of Creighton University. A Nebraska native, Fr. Hendrickson earned his BA in psychology and theology from Marquette University in 1993 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1994. He received his MA in philosophical resources from Fordham University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, and MA and PhD degrees from Columbia University.
Fr. Hendrickson’s first contact with Creighton was as a student in the Jesuit Humanities Program in 1996. He returned as an adjunct instructor of philosophy from 2000 to 2003. He also served as an adjunct professor with Creighton’s Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) program in Santiago, Dominican Republic, in 2002. Fr. Hendrickson was a visiting instructor at Jordan University College in Morogoro, Tanzania, and an adjunct professor of philosophy at Fordham University.
In 2012, he returned to Marquette University as associate vice president in the Office of the Executive Vice President, working closely with the president, provost and academic deans. He then became an associate provost for academic initiatives at Marquette. He was elected to the Creighton Board of Trustees in 2013 and also serves on the boards of Boston College and Xavier University.
Fr. Hendrickson has a special interest in education with a global perspective. His international travel and immersion experiences have taken him to some 23 countries on nearly every continent.
Fr. Hendrickson, who grew up in Fremont, Neb., and graduated from Mount Michael Benedictine High School in Elkhorn, Neb., comes from a family of educators. His identical twin, the Rev. D. Scott Hendrickson, SJ, DPhil, is an assistant professor of modern languages at Loyola University Chicago, while his older brother, Ryan Hendrickson, PhD, is a political science professor and interim dean of the Graduate School at Eastern Illinois University.
Walter Merritt Riggs was the president of Clemson University from 1910 to 1924 and the “father of Clemson football” coaching the first football team for what was then Clemson College.
Riggs graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University) with a Bachelor of Science in engineering in 1892 and was a member of Auburn’s first football team. He was also president of his class and director of the glee club while at Auburn.
Riggs was the second president of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, taking over for William Lofland Dudley in 1912. Riggs Hall, which is the home of Clemson’s College of Engineering and Science, is named in his honor.
Joel Henry Hildebrand was an American educator and a pioneer chemist. He was a major figure in chemistry research specializing in liquids and nonelectrolyte solutions.
Frederick Hovde was elected to a Rhodes Scholarship and spent three years at Oxford University where he received two degrees in chemistry. While at Oxford, he was a member of the varsity rugby football team and in 1931 he became the third American in history to win his Oxford blue in the annual Oxford-Cambridge rugby union match. Frederick Hovde became the President of Purdue University in 1946 and remained President until his retirement in 1971. While Frederick was President the student body quadrupled and over 80,000 students graduated.
It was also during this time that Purdue established the schools of industrial engineering, materials engineering, technology, and veterinary medicine.
While at Purdue, he served on numerous government boards on scientific research, including military research. He also served as a member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy, Board of Visitors to the Air University, Air Training Command Advisory Board, Board of Consultants to the National War College, and Board of Visitors to the United States Air Force Academy. In 1961, he served as chairman of the President-Elect’s Task Force Committee on Education. From 1970 to 1973, he served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Hovde served as President of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (1953-1954), as vice chairman of the American Council on Education (1955-1956), and a member of the President’s Committee on Education Beyond High School (1956-1957).
After his retirement in, Frederick was named President Emeritus of Purdue.
Marc Johnson was appointed the 16th president of the University of Nevada, Reno in April 2012.
In April 2011, Johnson, executive vice president and provost of the University of Nevada, Reno since 2008, abruptly became interim president because of the sudden death of the current president.
Johnson effectively led the University through a final series of budget reductions, while helping the university continue to excel at record levels. Milestones during that year included: Record enrollment of 18,004 students in fall 2011; record number of National Merit Scholars on campus; record graduate rate, record faculty productivity levels, and being classified among the nation’s top 100 public universities as a “Tier I” institution by U.S. News & World Report.
At a time when the wheels could have easily come off the 138-year-old institution, Johnson provided continuity and stability.
Johnson grew up on a farm/orchard south of Wichita, Kansas, where he, along with his brother, Scott, were in charge of operations related to the family’s business. Operations included growing everything from wheat, sorghum and soybeans, to peaches, apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, sometimes sweet corn and tomatoes, as well as selling local produce from neighboring farms from the Johnson family country store.
Vernon Lyman Kellogg was a U.S. entomologist, evolutionary biologist, and science administrator. His father was Lyman Beecher Kellogg, first president of the Kansas State Normal School (now known as Emporia State University), and former Kansas Attorney General. He studied under Francis Snow at the University of Kansas, under John Henry Comstock at Stanford University, and under Rudolf Leuckart at the University of Leipzig in Germany.
From 1894 to 1920 Kellogg was professor of entomology at Stanford University Kellogg specialized in insect taxonomy and economic entomology. Herbert Hoover was among his students, and Florence E. Bemis worked in his lab.
His academic career was interrupted by two years (1915 and 1916) spent in Brussels as director of Hoover’s humanitarian American Commission for Relief in Belgium. Initially a pacifist, Kellogg dined with the officers of the German Supreme Command. He became shocked by the grotesque Social Darwinist motivation for the German war machine – the creed of survival of the fittest based on violent and fatal competitive struggle is the Gospel of the German intellectuals. Kellogg decided these ideas could only be beaten by force and, using his connections with America’s political elite, began to campaign for American intervention in the war. He published an account of his conversations in the book Headquarters Nights.
After the war, he served as the first permanent secretary of the National Research Council in Washington, D.C.. He served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1921-1933. A cargo ship built in the United States during World War II was named SS Vernon L. Kellogg.
Robert Conrad Khayat was the 15th Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. He was appointed in 1995. Khayat, a former student of the University of Mississippi, is the only Chancellor of the university to be a member of the Student Hall of Fame there. He has B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi and a LL.M. degree from Yale University. Khayat played American football in the National Football League as a kicker for the Washington Redskins.
In one of his first acts as chancellor, Dr. Khayat arranged for a $5.4 million gift from Jim and Sally Barksdale to establish an honors college at the university.
In 1996, with enrollment declining, Chancellor Khayat retained the public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, to conduct a survey of public perception – including university symbols. When The New York Times reported on the review, which included the Confederate Flag and other Old South symbols, a media frenzy ensued.
On January 6, 2009, Dr. Khayat announced his retirement effective June 30, 2009. He was succeeded by Dr. Daniel “Dan” Jones on June 15, 2009. Chancellor Khayat’s memoir, The Education of a Lifetime, was published on September 10, 2013.
Charles Boynton “Chuck” Knapp was President of the University of Georgia from 1987 until 1997. He then served on the Board of Trustees and is as the Dean of the Universities College of Business.
Upon leaving UGA, Knapp became president of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. and joined Heidrick & Struggles as a partner in their higher education practice. He also was appointed to the American Council on Education and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
Construction projects totaling more than $400 million were started during his administration, including the Biological Sciences Complex (1992), Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities (1995), the Performing Arts Center, Hodgson Hall (1996), the music building (1996), the Georgia Museum of Art (1996), Rusk Hall (1996), and the UGA Welcome Center (1996).
Knapp was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Iowa State University Alumni Association in 1994. In 2004, Knapp was named president emeritus of UGA by the Georgia Board of Regents.
In 2005, Knapp joined UGA’s Institute of Higher Education as a part-time Distinguished Public Service Fellow and professor of economics in The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
Knapp currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia
Michael V. Martin serves as President of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). The Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees unanimously selected Dr. Martin to become the institution’s fourth President on July 1, 2017, and his appointment was confirmed by the Board of Governors.
President Martin came to FGCU from the Colorado State University System, where he served most recently as Chancellor Emeritus and Senior Fellow following three years as Chancellor. Prior to this, he was Chancellor of Louisiana State University; President of New Mexico State University; Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at University of Florida; Vice President for Agricultural Policy at University of Minnesota; and served 15 years on the faculty, including a term as Faculty Senate president, at Oregon State University.
A native of Crosby, Minnesota, Dr. Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics and a master’s degree in economics at Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University). He received his Ph.D. in applied economics from the University of Minnesota in 1977. His areas of specialization are prices, international trade, public policy, transportation, and business logistics.
His membership on local, state and national boards and organizations spans decades of service, and currently includes the Farm Foundation Board of Trustees, and the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
Dr. Martin and his wife, Jan, are parents to two children adopted from Korea. Amanda graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in graphic design. She and her husband, Paul Ehrsam, are parents to two terrific grandsons, Logan and Charlie. Son Sam has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence University, and a master’s degree in software engineering from Pace University.