Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 11, 2003 - Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, has been elected president of the Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE) for 2003-2005.

The Council on Public Higher Education is comprised of 13 public four-year colleges and universities in Missouri and the University of Missouri system. Members include Southeast Missouri State University, Harris-Stowe State College, Missouri Southern State College, Missouri Western State College, Central Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Southwest Missouri State University, Truman State University, Lincoln University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-Rolla, University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri system. COPHE institutions are committed to a strong, coordinated system of higher education that provides for student access and success, institutional strength and public engagement.

Dobbins' term begins July 1. Art Wallhausen, associate to the president at Southeast Missouri State University, will serve as executive director during Dobbins' term as COPHE president.

The president of COPHE works with the state's four-year institutions, the Missouri Community College Association, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and the commissioner of higher education and the commissioner's staff to ensure collaboration on mutual issues.

Other officers elected for the same term are Bobby Patton, Central Missouri State University, vice president; David Henson, Lincoln University, secretary; and Henry Givens, Harris-Stowe State College, treasurer.

The COPHE presidency has been held by leaders at the University of Missouri the past four years. Dobbins will succeed University of Missouri Chancellor Richard Wallace, whose term as COPHE president is expiring. Wallace succeeded retired University of Missouri System President Manuel Pacheco as COPHE president.

Dobbins became the 17th president of Southeast Missouri State University on July 1, 1999, after an 18-year career in higher education administration. He came to Southeast Missouri State University in 1991 as vice president for Finance and Administration, and served as executive vice president from July 1993 until his appointment as president.

During his tenure at Southeast, Dobbins has been an integral part of the team which developed and began implementing such major initiatives as the River Campus, School for Visual and Performing Arts, School of Polytechnic Studies, off-campus higher education centers at Sikeston and Kennett and Perryville, an enhanced public service initiative, a major capital campaign, and a new campus master plan.

Dobbins earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Akron in Ohio in 1971. His M.B.A. degree with emphasis in management information systems was earned in 1979 at Old Dominion University in Virginia, and his doctoral degree in higher education administration was received in 1987 from Kent State University in Ohio. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio.

Dobbins is married to the former Jeanine Larson, coordinator for the Missouri Statewide Early Literacy Intervention Program based at Southeast. They have one son, Paul, who is a May 2003 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University.


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