Thursday, October 30, 2008

Regents Name New Georgia State President

The Board of Regents has appointed Mark P. Becker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina, the next president of Georgia State University.

Becker, 50, will become the 7th president in Georgia State’s history in January, when President Carl Patton retires after 16 years of service.

With experience as a biostatistician, public health researcher and academic leader, Becker is a good fit for Georgia State, members of the presidential search committee said.

“Dr. Becker has the experience as a faculty member, a dean and a provost at leading research universities in the country,” said Paul Alberto, chair of the University Senate Executive Committee and a search committee member. “With that background, he will be able to work with the faculty to assess where we are and how we can move forward to greater national prominence.”

Prior to his appointment at the University of South Carolina, Becker spent three years at the University of Minnesota as a biostatistics professor, dean of the School of Public Health and assistant vice president of Public Health, Preparedness and Emergency Response.

From 1989 to 2000, Becker was a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He also has held academic posts at the University of Washington, the University of Florida and Cornell University. Additionally, Becker has fundraising experience both as a dean and a provost.

Becker earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Towson State University and his doctorate in statistics from Pennsylvania State University.

Internationally recognized as a researcher in biostatistics and public health sciences, Becker has published more than 40 articles and has been principal investigator on research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

“Georgia State is poised to advance as one of our nation’s leading urban public research universities,” Becker said. “There is the opportunity, building on its location in Atlanta and the tremendous progress made under President Patton’s leadership, for the University to enhance Atlanta’s national and global stature.”

Becker, who is married to Laura Voisinet and has two children, Matthew, 22, and Julia, 18, said he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and whitewater rafting and “experiencing and learning about new cultures.”

Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. said Becker will bring a lot to Georgia State.

“As the [presidential search] committee knows, as the Regents know, as I have come to know – let me assure the Georgia State community that you will enjoy becoming acquainted with and working with Dr. Becker.”

by Liz Babiarz
Georgia State University

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