New deans appointed at Alcorn

Three departments at Alcorn State University are officially under new leadership.

Dr. Edmund Buckner, Dr. Donna Williams and Dr. Ivan Banks are the new deans for Alcorn’s School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, School of Business and School of Education and Psychology.

Buckner, a newcomer to the University, hails from the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff (UAPB) where he served as the interim dean for the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences.

Buckner looks forward to leading Alcorn’s School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in their efforts to increase enrollment and provide innovative research.

“I am very excited to be here at Alcorn State University,” said Buckner. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to grow student enrollment, continue our cutting edge research programs and share this important information with our farmers, ranchers and rural and urban communities.”

Williams, who recently served as the School of Business’ interim dean, has served the School by teaching a number of classes that includes business computer applications, principles of management and strategic management. Prior to her roles at Alcorn, Williams was a finance administrator for 25 years at Delphi, Inc. in Clinton, Mississippi.

The opportunity to prepare students for their lives after Alcorn is what drives Williams’ appreciation for her promotion.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen as the Dean for the School of Business,” said Williams. “I am very excited about the future of the business school. What’s very important to me is to create an environment where students can be educated so that they can be well equipped for graduate and professional school and employment opportunities.”

Banks, who was the interim executive director for Alcorn’s Vicksburg Campus and Online Education/Initiatives from 2013 to 2015, makes his return to Alcorn after serving as the director for Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (AAMU) Center for Educator Preparation and Certification Services. While at AAMU, Banks developed and implemented programs to assist the dean of the College with student support services for teacher education majors.

Coming back to serve as the interim dean for Alcorn’s School of Education and Psychology is like a homecoming for Banks.

“In many ways, it feels like I am returning home to serve what I have always regarded as a great institution,” said Banks. “The people who work here are like family, and my transition has been smooth because of their warm acceptance.”

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