On behalf of the Council of Trustees, Chairman Michael G. Warfel announced recently that Dr. James McCollum, executive deputy to the president and chief of staff, has been named acting president of Millersville University for the period of January 26 through April 1, when president-elect Dr. John Anderson will begin his duties as president. Following standard University interim/acting protocols, the Council of Trustees first asked the University’s provost, Dr. Vilas Prabhu, to serve in this position. Due to recent eye surgery that will limit his ability to perform presidential duties, particularly travel, Prabhu declined this request. Therefore, the trustees next turned to Dr. James McCollum, executive deputy to the president and chief of staff, to fill this acting position and he has accepted.
Prior to his arrival at Millersville University, McCollum served for 10 years as CEO of the inter-university council of Ohio, an education association representing the collective interests of the state’s public universities. For more than 20 years he was associated with Youngstown State University as presidential assistant, governmental relations officer, head of the university relations unit, and as a state assistant attorney general and university legal counsel.
In accepting this position McCollum said, “I am honored to accept this temporary assignment and respect Dr. Prabhu’s decision. The provost’s leadership of academic affairs and his support will be crucial to me during my time as acting president. In order to assist a smooth transition between Dr. McNairy’s departure and Dr. Anderson’s arrival I will collaborate closely with cabinet and trustees, and work cooperatively with faculty and staff to ensure our students continue to receive an educational opportunity second to none and that normal University operations are managed effectively. We will all work closely with Dr. Anderson to facilitate his transition as our next president.”
The chairman of the Pennsylvania State System Board of Higher Education, Guido Pichini, commented on the announcement, “The Board looks forward to Dr. Anderson becoming Millersville University’s next president and is confident he will have great success on behalf of the entire campus community, especially its students. In the meantime it is important that the University continues to move forward under strong, consistent leadership. Dr. McCollum has demonstrated during his professional career he can fulfill this role during this transition period.”