The 67-year-old Adams, who served in Georgia from 1997 to 2013 and as vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine from 1982 to 1988, will assume his new duties Aug. 1, Pepperdine said in a statement that described him as an award-winning educator and political communication specialist.
“There is no better person to serve Pepperdine in this capacity than Mike Adams,” Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, said in comments quoted in the Pepperdine statement.
“Mike has strong ties to Pepperdine, and has contributed to almost every major discussion in higher education over the last 30 years. He is an accomplished leader, a prodigious fundraiser, and has served both public and independent institutions.”
As chancellor, Adams will assume a leadership role on major initiatives, help strengthen the university’s endowment, focus on cultivating existing relationships, and work on “developing new partnerships to extend Pepperdine’s reach throughout Southern California and around the globe,” the statement said.
“I have great confidence that Mike will open doors of opportunity, giving us the advantage we need to become a preeminent, global, Christian university,” said Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton. “Mike and (his wife) Mary Adams are true and dependable friends who have never been far from the Pepperdine community.”
Adams held the titles of President Emeritus and Regents’ Professor at the University of Georgia. Under his leadership, the university was recognized as one of the nation’s top 20 public research universities for eight out of 10 years by U.S. News & World Report.
Adams earned an undergraduate degree in speech and history from Lipscomb University, which named him Alumnus of the Year in 2011. He holds a PhD from Ohio State University and has been awarded five honorary degrees.
He is a specialist in political communication and higher education administration and has written professionally in both areas. He has held senior positions in state and national government as chief of staff to former Sen. Howard Baker and as an advisor to former Tennessee governor and current Sen. Lamar Alexander.
“I am honored and delighted at this stage in my career to have the opportunity to serve an organization that I care deeply about,” Adams said.
—City News Service
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