Dr. Nicole Edwards Evans oversees a variety of matters relating to students and faculty. She provides leadership in the areas of accreditation, academic assessment, institutional research, strategic planning, enrollment management, extended studies, online degree programs, and reports submitted to the governing board office. In addition, she has served as Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning at JSU, where she led the most recent SACS reaffirmation process which resulted in the institution being reaffirmed for 10-years with no recommendations and no follow-up reports. Dr. Evans has more than 15 years experience as a higher education faculty member and administrator. She has a longstanding interest in efforts to increase higher education access and affordability.
Dr. Blaine, conductor, soloist and scholar balances diverse artistic and academic worlds with agility and aplomb. Serving as Jackson State University’s Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Cyber Learning, Director of GEAR (Global Education through Analytical Reasoning), Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Jackson State University, Robert Blaine is highly active through his multifaceted career. Congruent with his dissertation project, “Gaming to Teach; Using a Virtual Reality Structured Intranet to Teach Solo Trombone Works by Rabe, Persichetti and Xenakis”, Dr. Blaine has long been interested in the intersection between art, teaching and technology. His role as conductor of Jackson State University’s CyberLearning initiative provides leadership for the development of a 21st century learning environment for students and faculty.Dr. Blaine’s most recent leadership initiatives have resulted in the development of INNOVATE, a center for the development and dissemination of digital content; CREATE, a center for project-based learning; the Digital Core, an interdisciplinary general education core delivered as multi-touch digital textbooks; and the recent designation of Jackson State University as one of only four institutions honored as Apple Distinguished Schools in the nation. Dr. Robert Blaine is an Apple Distinguished Educator and an endorsing artist of the C. G. Conn Company. Dr. Blaine performs on Conn instruments exclusively.
Dr. Priscilla Slade is a member of the faculty in the College of Business in addition to providing oversight to the International Programs Office and Community College Relations offices. She provides the leadership and vision for the development of creative programming with community colleges in addition to all aspects of international programs – Education Abroad, English as a Second Language Institute, International Student and Scholar Services, Faculty-led Education Abroad, International recruitment and International Visitor’s Center Jackson. Dr. Slade has experienced university leadership at multiple levels: Department Chair – Department of Accounting, Dean – College of Business, and University president.
Dr. Otha Burton, Jr. was selected as the founding Executive Director of the Institute of Government (IOG) at Jackson State University in the summer of 2013. The IOG is established to assist public leaders and managers in serving their communities through its mission to “Provide leadership development, research, consulting, and training aimed at assisting urban regions and public service organizations in delivering effective and efficient services that meet constituent needs and enhance stability, growth, and sustainability of communities.” Dr. Burton has a career that includes 25 years in local government as a planner, policy developer, department director, fiscal manager, and Chief Administrator Officer, and over 24 years in higher education as Associate Dean of the College of Public Service, Associate Dean of the School of Policy and Planning, and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Dr. Calhoun is a Professor of Sociology and has served as Interim Dean, College of Liberal Arts, at Jackson State University. Dr. Calhoun has held previous positions at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Professor of Sociology, Department Chair and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs; University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Professor of Sociology, Director of the Institute for Ethnic Studies and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs). Dr. Calhoun has published more than 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.