James Madison University is a public, comprehensive university and is the only university in America named for James Madison. The university places great emphasis on the quality of the undergraduate student experience in its bachelor's level programs and offers a complementary array of distinguished master's, educational specialist and doctoral programs aimed at meeting specific state and national needs. JMU provides a total education to students – one that has a broad range of the liberal arts as its foundation and encompasses an extensive variety of professional and pre-professional programs, augmented by a multitude of learning experiences outside the classroom. The value and quality of the JMU experience has been recognized repeatedly in many national publications.
Enhancing quality in student learning is a priority for JMU. A national study found that 81 percent of employers want colleges to place more emphasis on "critical thinking and analytic reasoning" and 75 percent want more emphasis on "ethical decision making" (Raising the Bar: Employers' Views on College Learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn, AAC&U and Hart Research Associates (2010)). In 2013, JMU launched a major university-wide effort called The Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action with the purpose of teaching ethical reasoning skills to every student at the university.
First year students are introduced to the Madison Collaborative during orientation, and exposure continues through campus programming, the General Education curriculum and courses in majors. It teaches students how to apply a set of reasoning skills to evaluate implications of different courses of action in their personal, professional and civic lives. The Madison Collaborative ties directly to the university's mission of "preparing educated and enlightened citizens."
We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.
Since its establishment in 1908, James Madison University has grown from a small state normal and industrial school for women to today's coeducational comprehensive university with a fall 2014 enrollment of 20,855 students.
The university was founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, with Julian Ashby Burruss as its first president. The school opened its doors to its first student body in 1909 with an enrollment of 209 students and a faculty of 15. Its first 20 graduates received diplomas in 1911. In 1914, the name of the school was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. The school received authorization to award bachelor's degrees in 1916. During this initial period of development, Burruss' administration established the campus plan and constructed six buildings.
After Burruss resigned in 1919, Dr. Samuel Page Duke became the second president. Duke's administration erected nine major buildings.
In 1924, the university became the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg and continued under that name until 1938, when it was named Madison College in honor of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. In 1946, the Duke administration admitted men as regular day students.
Following the retirement of Duke, Dr. G. Tyler Miller became the third president of the university in 1949 and remained until 1970. Miller's administration enlarged the campus by 240 acres and constructed 19 buildings. The administration also revamped the curriculum. In 1954, the expanding school received authority to grant master's degrees. The university became a coeducational institution in 1966. Dr. Ronald E. Carrier became JMU's fourth president in 1971. His administration changed Madison College into a university. In 1977, the university adopted its current name, James Madison University. The Carrier administration nearly tripled the number of students and university faculty members and constructed some 30 major campus buildings. Doctoral degrees were authorized in 1994.
Dr. Linwood H. Rose was named JMU's fifth president in September 1998. Under his leadership, JMU was continually recognized in national publications as one of the nation's finest institutions of its type. More than 20 new academic programs were implemented, 25 major buildings were constructed, a Phi Beta Kappa chapter was installed and the university successfully completed its first capital campaign. Before being named president, Rose had served as a member of the institution's administration for 23 years.
Jonathan Alger took office in July 2012 as the sixth president of James Madison University. Under his leadership, JMU has developed a new vision to be "the national model of the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world," along with a new strategic plan focused on engaged learning, community engagement and civic engagement. President Alger is a nationally recognized expert in higher education law and policy and held previous positions at Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, the American Association of University Professors, and the U.S. Department of Education.
The general responsibility for the administration of the university has been assigned to the president, who is appointed by the JMU Board of Visitors. When the board is in recess, its executive committee may exercise the power of the board.
Assisting the president in the administration of the university are the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, the senior vice president for administration and finance, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for access and enrollment management, the vice president for university advancement, the executive director for campus and community programs for access and inclusion, the special assistant to the president for strategic planning and engagement, university counsel, and the executive advisor to the president.
Appointment to these positions and to the university's instructional and administrative faculty is made by the JMU Board of Visitors upon the recommendation of the president.
James Madison University Administration
Board of Visitors
Ms. Maribeth D. Herod, (Rector), Herndon, VA
Mr. Michael B. Battle, Clarksville, MD
Ms. Vanessa M. Evans-Grevious Charlottesville, VA
Mr. Frank Gaddams, Norfolk, VA
Mr. Jeffrey E. Grass, Arlington, VA
Mr. Matthew A. Gray-Keeling, Richmond, VA
Ms. Lucy Hutchinson, New York, NY
Ms. Maria D. Jankowski, Richmond, VA
Ms. Deborah T. Johnson, Woodbridge, VA
Ms. Lara P. Major (Vice Rector), Purcellville, VA
Ms. Maggie Ragon, Staunton, VA
Mr. John C. Rothenberger, Great Falls, VA
Mr. Michael M. Thomas, Reston, VA
Ms. Kathy J. Warden, Great Falls, VA
Mr. Craig B. Welburn, Manassas, VA
Ms. Norman R. Jones III (student representative), Manassas, VA
Ms. Donna L. Harper (Secretary), JMU/Harrisonburg, VA
Chief Administrative Officers
Jonathan R. Alger, J.D.
Senior Leadership Team
Heather Coltman, D.M.A.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Michael K. Davis, Ph.D.
Executive Adviser to the President
Art T. Dean II, M.Ed.
Executive Director for Campus and Community Programs for Access and Inclusion
Donna L. Harper, Ed.S.
Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management
Marilou Johnson, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Academic Development
Charles W. King Jr., M.A.
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
John F. Knight, J.D.
University Counsel/Assistant Attorney General and Special Counsel
Nick L. Langridge, Ph.D.
Vice President for University Advancement
Timothy M. Miller, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Towana Moore, M.B.A.
Associate Vice President for Business Services
Robert D. Aguirre, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Letters
Cynthia M. Bauerle, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science and Mathematics
Michael E. Busing, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Business
John Burgess, M.F.A.
Interim Dean, The Graduate School
Robert A. Kolvoord, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Integrated Science and Engineering
Sharon E. Lovell, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Health and Behavioral Studies
Bradley R. Newcomer, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College
George E. Sparks, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Mark L'Esperance, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Education
JMU consists of the following colleges and academic administrative units:
Office of Alumni Relations
Phone: (540) 568-6234
JMU benefits from an active, enthusiastic and supportive alumni association. With more than 135,000 graduates, the JMU Alumni Association strives to develop a continuing interest in the university by providing opportunities for service, fellowship, networking and loyalty for JMU alumni. The association provides scholarship opportunities for incoming JMU students. Alumni chapters across the globe sponsor socials, programs, scholarships, community service and various events to engage alumni in their area. The alumni association also hosts annual programming on campus, including homecoming, reunions and an annual alumni volunteer conference.
The JMU Alumni Association is directed by a board of directors who represent the interests of all graduates by reviewing and setting the strategy for the association. JMU's magazine, Madison, provides information about the university to all alumni, parents of currently enrolled students, friends and businesses, corporations, and foundations associated with JMU. The e-newsletter, Madison Update, is a popular way for alumni to stay informed about alumni and campus activities.
Find out more about the JMU Alumni Association and upcoming events at http://www.alumni.jmu.edu.
The James Madison University Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 1969 to support the university — its students, faculty, staff, programs and facilities. The foundation receives, manages and stewards all charitable contributions for JMU. The foundation accepts gifts of cash, securities, real estate, personal property and more. The foundation's mission is to support and serve the James Madison University community. Its vision is to provide an ever-growing and sustainable source of private support for the university community by promoting a culture of philanthropy, prudent investment, stewardship and excellence. The foundation is guided by an abiding commitment to the university, valuing generosity and fiscal responsibility.
James Madison University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of James Madison University.
The Commission should only be contacted concerning an institution's significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard. Normal inquiries about James Madison University (such as admission requirements, financial aid, education programs, etc.) should be directed to JMU, not the Commission's office.
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