Edney named interim ASU president

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 22, 2010

NATCHEZ — After a nine-year retirement from teaching, Norris Edney is returning to Alcorn State University as interim president.

As a professor, Edney spent most of his career at Alcorn in various roles of teaching and administration.

“I spent 32 years at Alcorn,” the Natchez resident said. “It is very special to me. They’ve had a very proud history.

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“You cannot touch any facet of Mississippi without touching an accomplished Alcorn graduate, and we must continue producing those types of graduates. That’s what I want to be a part of.”

Edney has an associates degree from Natchez Junior College, an undergraduate degree in biology from Tougaloo College, a master of science teaching degree from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Co., and a doctorate degree in conservation from Michigan State University.

It was while teaching at Michigan University as a biology teacher that Edney was contacted by Alcorn to come teach.

“I started (at Alcorn) as a biology teacher and became the director of the biology department, then dean of the school of arts and science,” Edney said.

Edney said he then became the dean of the nursing school.

“I started the nursing program here in Natchez. I brought it here, and I ran it for two years,” Edney said.

In 2000, Edney retired from Alcorn. He is now serving as chairman of the Natchez-Adams School District’s Board of Trustees.

Edney said he has been enjoying his retirement, but when he was contacted by Alcorn about the interim presidency, he agreed to come back.

“I think the next step, as far as I’m concerned, would be to produce the kind of program for the modern world that would cause our graduates to be superior in their competitiveness in the country,” Edney said.

Edney said he wants there to be a sense of pride among his students that sets them apart from other college students.

“My goal is that you know these are Alcorn graduates not because of their transcripts or degrees, but just because,” Edney said. “It’s a proud institute, and we will continue to get the job done.”

Edney will be filling the position left by George Ross, Alcorn’s 17th president until a permanent replacement is hired.

Ross has accepted a position as president of Central Michigan University and will be leaving Alcorn Feb. 5.