Linda M. Bleicken


Linda M. Bleicken Appointed President of AASU

(May 13, 2009) Linda M. Bleicken, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southern University, has been named president of Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU). The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia made the announcement Tuesday.

Bleicken will take office July 1, succeeding Thomas Z. Jones, who announced last year that he is stepping down on June 30 after nine years as president.

"Chancellor Davis and the Board of Regents made a very wise selection," said Jones. "I have known Dr. Bleicken for many years and believe she will do an outstanding job in leading Armstrong Atlantic State University. I wish her the very best."

Bleicken received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in management from Georgia State University. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in marketing from Georgia State University in 1984. Since 2005, she has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southern University, where she arrived in 1990 as assistant professor of management.

"I'm absolutely delighted and honored to be the next president of Armstrong Atlantic State University," said Bleicken. "During my nearly nineteen years as a citizen of coastal Georgia, I have come to love this place and to understand the importance of its people and environment. AASU's commitments to student success and to the development of our region, led so competently by President Tom Jones, are closely aligned with commitments that have guided my career for years."

Bleicken, a resident of Savannah since 1990, becomes the seventh AASU president and the first woman to lead the institution since the establishment of Armstrong Junior College in 1935.

As provost, chief academic officer and a member of the university's management faculty, Bleicken's service to Georgia Southern University - an institution with 17,764 students and eight colleges - includes administrative appointments as: acting provost and vice president for academic affairs from July 2004 to January 2005; vice president for student affairs and enrollment management from 2001 to 2004; associate provost for enrollment management and information technology from 2000 to 2001; acting provost and vice president for academic affairs from 1998 to 2000; associate dean of the College of Business Administration from 1995 to 1998; and acting chair of the Department of Management from 1994 to 1995.

In addition, she has served the University System of Georgia as a member of its Health Professions Task Force (2006), Core Curriculum Committee (2007-2008), Graduation Rate Task Force (2004), Tuition Rate Task Force (2004) and the Task Force to Develop eCore?, the USGs electronic core curriculum (2000).

"We are delighted that Dr. Bleicken has been selected to be Armstrong Atlantic's next president," said Anne Thompson, chair of the AASU Presidential Search Committee. "She impressed our committee at every phase of the search process, and we are confident that the university will be in good hands."

Bleicken's faculty experience began in 1987 as instructor for the Department of Management at Georgia State University. Three years later she joined Georgia Southern University as assistant professor of management. Her administrative experience at Georgia Southern started in September 1994, when she was appointed acting chair of the Department of Management.

Her achievements at Georgia Southern include facilitating the establishment of the College of Public Health in January 2006. She fostered the addition of three doctoral degrees - Doctor of Psychology, Doctor of Public Health and Doctor of Nursing Practice - between 2006 and 2008.

She helped to establish the Center for Online Learning and enhanced online graduate degree enrollment by 53 percent from fall 2007 to fall 2008; encouraged the growth of external grant awards from $5.4 million in 2005 to $6.7 million in 2008; worked to build a team that has increased first to second year retention from 76 percent to 81 percent between fall 2005 and fall 2008; and oversaw an increase of 280,000 square feet of academic space.

"On behalf of the Faculty Senate at Armstrong Atlantic State University, it is my pleasure and honor to welcome Dr. Bleicken to the university," said Kevin Hampton, AASU professor of music and faculty senate president. "We look forward to working with her as together, we begin a new era of leadership at our institution."

Bleicken's selection by the USG Board of Regents and her recommendation as a finalist by the AASU Presidential Search Committee resulted from an extensive and rigorous process that was launched in fall 2008. The AASU search committee included representatives from various areas of the campus, including academia, human resources, the student body, the Alumni Association and the AASU Foundation.