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Edney leading Alcorn St. in transition

Lorman — Norris Edney, former Interim President of Alcorn State University, began serving as acting president of the institution Friday following the resignation of former president M. Christopher Brown II.

Brown resigned amid an investigation into university purchasing practices that began with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, but has been turned over to the state Auditor’s Office and state Ethics Commission.

The investigation had already led to the resignation of two other Alcorn employees: special assistant for university initiatives Jeremy Mason and former Chief Financial Officer Betty Roberts.

Edney served as interim president of the university from February 2010 to January 2011, prior to the appointment of Brown.

Edney previously served as the interim dean of the school of nursing, which is located on the Natchez campus of Alcorn State University.

“I look forward to leading Alcorn during this important time,” Edney said. “Having spent most of my professional career at Alcorn, I welcome any opportunity to serve this institution, which I hold so close to my heart.”

Edney has served in a variety of roles at Alcorn State University, beginning as biology instructor in 1963 and working his way up to senior leadership positions.

He has served as dean of graduate studies, dean of the school of arts and sciences and chairman of the department of biology.

Edney also worked as director for the Natchez nursing program from initiation of the program through the second accreditation cycle.

In addition, Edney served as president of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) from 1979 until 1984.

He has also served as president of the Natchez-Adams County School Board.

Edney has an associate degree from Natchez Junior College, an undergraduate degree in biology from Tougaloo College, a master’s degree in biology from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Colo., and a doctorate in conservation from Michigan State University.

“The board and I are pleased that Edney has agreed to step into this important role during this transition period,” Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education, said.

“Once again, his years of experience at Alcorn and deep understanding of the university, including its staff, students, alumni and community, will help ensure that the institution continues its important mission of teaching, research and service without missing a beat.”

Board of Trustees President Bob Owens will appoint a board search committee and begin a national search for the next president in the very near future.

According to board policy, the acting president is not eligible to apply for the permanent position.

Alcorn’s main campus is located in Lorman, with satellite campuses in Natchez and Vicksburg. The historically black university is fully accredited with seven schools and degree programs in more than 50 areas, including a nursing program.

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