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Central State University Welcomes First Woman President in 125-year History

The Central State University Board of Trustees on Thursday appointed Dr. Cynthia Jackson Hammond as the eighth president of the university. 

Under her guidance as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Coppin State University, Dr. Hammond guided six prominent initiatives: the reformation of the General Education core curriculum, establishment of the Center for Undergraduate Research, 2010 strategic planning, development of the First Year Experience program, designed and received external funding for the Advisement and Retention Center for the School of Education, and development of tenure criteria. 

Recently, Dr. Hammond served as a lead consultant for H&H Educational Consultants specializing in strategic planning, curriculum design, accreditation, and standards-based assessments.

“We are very excited about our selection,” said Gary Dowdell, chair of the Central State University Board of Trustees. “Dr. Cynthia Jackson Hammond has a demonstrated leadership background and comes to Central State University at a time when we are poised to make great strides in building for the future.”

Dr. Hammond holds a Doctorate of Education from Grambling State University, a Masters of Education from University of Louisiana in Monroe, an Education Specialist degree from University of Louisiana in Monroe, and an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree also from Grambling. She has a number of publications to her credit and is a Harvard Fellow and a 1987-89 Louisiana State Board of Regents Fellow.

“I am extremely thrilled and honored to be named the next president of Central State University. This institution has a 125-year history of academic excellence and transforming the lives of students. I look forward to joining the campus community of administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and students to continue this great legacy and lead the University toward meeting the needs of an ever-changing society and a global future,” Dr. Hammond said.

“From a total of 51 candidates, Dr. Hammond was one of four presented to the Central State University Board of Trustees in late April by the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. 

The Committee was comprised of faculty, students and alumni.

“Our goal was to select a leader who would build on the accomplishments of John W. Garland who led the University for 15 years,” trustee Dowdell said. 

Garland announced his retirement from his alma mater last September and will leave Central State University June 30. Dr. Hammond’s appointment as President of Central State University is effective July 1, 2012.