Norfolk State University Board of Visitors Selects Interim President

(NSU NEWSROOM—Nov. 10, 2017)—The Norfolk State University Board of Visitors today appointed Vice Rector Dr. Melvin T. Stith to serve as the university’s interim president while the Board delineates a plan to conduct a national search for a new president.

Stith, 71, is a 1968 NSU alumnus and a longtime supporter of the university. He was selected for the position after current NSU President and CEO Eddie N. Moore, Jr., announced his intentions to retire in September. Stith has served on the BOV since 2013 and as the vice rector at Norfolk State since 2016. Today, he resigned from his board role and will begin as interim president on Jan.1, 2018.

A native of Jarratt, Virginia, Stith received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from NSU, and his MBA and Ph.D. in marketing from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, in 1973 and 1978.

Stith, a U.S. Army veteran who worked in Military Intelligence Command and achieved the rank of captain, has more than 30 years of experience in higher education and has served in leadership roles at several institutions. He is the dean emeritus at the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management and served in that role from 2005 to 2013. He also served as the dean and the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in the College of Business at Florida State University from 1991 to 2004. Stith has also worked at other academic institutions that include Florida A&M University and the University of South Florida.

He has served on numerous boards for public corporations that include Synovus Financial Corp., Aflac, Flowers Food Corporation and others. In 2016, he was named in Savoy Magazine as one of the most influential black corporate directors in the publication’s Power 300 issue. Stith is married to Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith, who is also a NSU graduate, and former assistant provost at Syracuse University. NSU’s Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith Student Success Center, named in her honor, is housed in the Nursing and General Education Building on campus.

As a result of Stith’s resignation from the Board of Visitors, the board named Bryan D. Cuffee as vice rector and Elwood B. Boone III as board secretary.

In addition to naming an interim president, the board voted on actions that included the approval of the campus crisis and emergency management plan and approved a master’s degree in cyberpsychology. The board also listened to a report from University Rector Dr. Byron L. Cherry Sr., and held concurrent committee meetings in academic affairs, finance and administration, student affairs and university advancement.

In summary, the Board of Visitors took the following actions on Friday. The board approved:

  • M.S. Degree in Cyberpsychology
  • JLARC Academic Affairs Request
  • Crisis and Emergency Management Plan
  • Amendments to Board Bylaws

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