November 15, 2005
05-247

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations

Valdosta State University appoints James L. Black as Vice Presidentfor Finance and Administration

Valdosta State University President Ronald M. Zaccari has announced the appointment of James L. Black as Valdosta State's Vice President for Finance and Administration, effective on December 1, 2005. Black has been serving as the university's interim vice president of the division since September 1, 2002; however, his service to the institution has spanned more than three decades.

Black began his career with Valdosta State College in 1969 as a temporary instructor in modern foreign languages, in 1970 he became a permanent instructor, and in 1971 he was given the additional responsibility of managing the department's language laboratory. In 1973, Black became the assistant to the vice president and dean of faculties, while concurrently serving as an assistant professor of modern and classical languages. He was awarded tenure as such in 1977. From 1980 to 1999, Black served as the director of auxiliary services and played an instrumental part in the institution's transition from a state college to a state university.

"Jim Black has served Valdosta State for more than 30 years and has done so with dedication and enthusiasm. He is a multi-talented individual and his years of experience will benefit the University community throughout the years ahead," Zaccari said.

After 30 years of service to the institution, Black retired on July 1, 1999 and was granted status of assistant professor emeritus of modern and classical languages. However, when the university's seventh president took office in 2002, Black was recommended as the interim vice president for finance and administration (formerly business and finance). Black accepted the call and returned from retirement as one of Valdosta State's four vice presidents in the president's cabinet.

Black's basic work philosophy is to employ and empower technically competent people to deliver services based upon four core values: respect, trust, compassion and unity. As interim vice president Black's contributions to strengthen the university include: improving campus safety by creating the office of environmental and occupational safety as an independent department responsible for the overall safety of the campus, modernizing the campus security camera system, strengthening university police by creating a student security patrol, and adding a full-time risk administrator. Under Black's leadership the efficiency of business operations was increased by initiating direct deposit of payroll and travel reimbursement, raising purchasing card spending limits, updating all campus lighting fixtures with energy efficient ballasts and fluorescent tubes, adopting use of the State Fuel Card System, and completing a campus-wide telephone audit to eliminate unused and underused telephone lines. Also during these years new student housing accommodating 500 students was erected and two existing residence halls were renovated. A total of 55 million dollars of capital construction projects and 4 million dollars in major repairs and renovation construction projects were executed to update and improve the campus. Also worthy of note are that the plant operations division received the University System of Georgia's first award of excellence for consistent and long-term high performance and the department of financial services earned number 1 audit ratings for three consecutive years. During the course of Black's career as a business officer he has supervised the creation and execution of budgets exceeding 385 million dollars.

Black graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree, both in French literature, from the University of Georgia in 1966 and 1971 respectively. He received his Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance in 1979 and his Master of Public Administration degree in 1983, both from Valdosta State College.

Black's commitment to diversity was instrumental in establishing the widely known Valdosta State University Mass Choir and the Brother-to-Brother program which supports the University System of Georgia's African-American Male Initiative. He participates in the "Faith and Values" program at the Valdosta State Prison and serves as a musician at the Morningstar Missionary Baptist Church.

Black has been a member of the Lowndes/Valdosta Arts Commission Board of Directors, from 1996 to 2002; Lowndes County 4-H Club as a volunteer leader, from 1971-1983; and the American Red Cross, Lowndes County, Board of Directors from 1974 to 1976.