Founders Day Convocation
129th Founders Day Convocation Ceremony
Friday, March 6, 2020 I 10:00am
Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center
This event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Mickey L. Burnim
Interim President, Coppin State University (2019-present)
ECSU Chancellor (1995-2006)
A native of Texas, Mickey L. Burnim began his career as an economist. Earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Texas, in Denton, in 1970, and then his master’s degree, two years later, he went on to earn a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 1977.
Dr. Burnim began his academic career as an assistant professor of economics at Florida State University from 1976 to 1982, but then moved into administration as the assistant vice president for academic affairs in the general administration office of the University of North Carolina system (UNC). Remaining faithful to his calling as a teacher, Dr. Burnim also held assistant and associate professorships in the economics department of the university’s Chapel Hill campus before moving to North Carolina Central University, a historically black institution in Durham, becoming the vice chancellor for academic affairs. He was, later, named provost of that campus.
Continuing his career in academia, Dr. Burnim was appointed chancellor and CEO of Elizabeth City State University, also an HBCU within the UNC system. During his eleven-year tenure, he successfully focused on issues related to financial affairs, declining enrollment, and educational standards. He reorganized the university into four schools, expanding the curriculum offerings to include seven new baccalaureate degree programs, and implemented the first three master’s programs. Fostering a culture of student- centeredness throughout the campus, Dr. Burnim also modeled this behavior by dining with the students, regularly, and hosting monthly student gatherings at the Chancellor’s Residence to discuss noteworthy social concerns, political issues, and world affairs.
Being called upon, once again, to serve as the chief executive of a university, Dr. Burnim was appointed president of Bowie State University in 2006. His focus on innovation, research, and academic program expansion prepared the school to be a leader in STEM, teaching, and research, while also improving the university’s community outreach, business practices, and transforming the landscape of the campus with the addition of a $71 million Fine and Performing Arts Center, a $42 million Student Center, and a $107 million Science, Mathematics, and Nursing facility.
Retiring from Bowie State in 2017, Dr. Burnim went on to serve as interim president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the summer of 2018, and he is currently serving as interim president of Coppin State University.