March 21, 2000

CONTACT: Ward Mullens



YPSILANTI &emdash; Dr. Samuel A. Kirkpatrick was officially appointed president of Eastern Michigan University by a unanimous vote of the EMU Board of Regents at its regular meeting March 21.

Kirkpatrick, 56, will take office at EMU May 15, 2000.

"My goal is to help the University move forward," said Kirkpatrick. "As one of the founding presidents of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, a common thread in my career has been focusing national activities on the mission of institutions like EMU."

Kirkpatrick, a senior fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), replaces Dr. William E. Shelton, who will retire after having served as EMU president since 1989.

"Dr. Kirkpatrick brings to EMU an impressive academic and scholarly record," said Regent Philip Incarnati, chair of the presidential search committee. "He has garnered numerous awards for his work in diversity, student retention, quality management and information technology."

Having a strong background in academics, Kirkpatrick has been directly involved with helping to shape the future of higher education.

"The central thrust of my position with AASCU is dealing with the challenges of higher education and what presidents and chancellors should be doing to meet those challenges in the new century," said Kirkpatrick.

A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kirkpatrick was the president of the University of Texas at San Antonio from 1990-99. During his presidency, the University developed more than 30 new academic programs, including its first doctoral degree programs; developed five new interdisciplinary research centers; more than doubled its institutional budget; nearly doubled its facilities; and won recognition for innovations in information technology and improvements in student recruitment.

From 1984-90, Kirkpatrick was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of political science at Arizona State University. He was a professor and head of the political science department at Texas A&M University from 1977-84 and previously directed a public policy research center and a statewide honors academy at the University of Oklahoma.

"I think there are three areas where I have worked recently that are especially relevant to Eastern Michigan University," he said. "One is my background in information technology and developing infrastructures and learning support systems. I have been working this year with a team of American Council of Education (ACE) fellows on the subject of information technology. Another piece relevant to the history of Eastern Michigan is building partnerships with schools and developing teachers. I have been personally involved with a $15-million grant from the National Science Foundation for a project on systemic school reform and teacher professional development. This is also an area that sets EMU apart from other institutions."

Finally, Kirkpatrick said that he is proud of the awards that he, and the institutions he has led, have earned. Under his guidance, the University of Texas at San Antonio received the nation's highest management achievement award in higher education from the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

He has served on the executive councils of the American Political Science Association and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Kirkpatrick, who has written six books, also has served as the editor of American Politics Quarterly and as an editorial board member for Metropolitan Universities.

In addition to teaching experience at all levels at several universities, he has taught in 10 countries and has served as a consultant to NBC News and ABC.

Kirkpatrick earned his Ph.D. in political science from Pennsylvania State University in 1968. He also earned his master's degree in political science from Penn State in 1966 and received his bachelor's degree from Shippensburg University in 1964.

Kirkpatrick and his wife, Pamela Ann, were married in 1965. They have two sons: Shaun, 31; and Neal, 27.