ST. LOUIS, MO (August 16, 2013) – Harris-Stowe State University president Dr. Albert Walker is retiring after two years leading the institution, the university’s Board of Regents announced today. The university board has named Constance Gully, the university’s longtime executive vice president for business and financial affairs, as interim president. A search for a new president will be launched promptly, and the Regents anticipate that a new leader will be selected prior to the beginning of the 2014 fall semester or earlier.
Dr. Walker was appointed Harris-Stowe president in August 2011, succeeding Dr. Henry Givens, who had served as president for 32 years. Dr. Walker informed the Regents of his decision to retire this month in a letter in which he said, “I wish to thank you, the Board of Regents, faculty, staff and students for allowing me the opportunity to serve the university and the citizens of Missouri. I have enjoyed working at the university and the opportunity to make a positive difference in the education of our students.”
“We are very grateful for Dr. Walker’s leadership and service at Harris-Stowe,” said Thelma V. Cook, chairwoman of the Board of Regents. “Harris-Stowe is a valuable educational resource, and we are proud that the university continues to grow in size, scope and service to students and the St. Louis region. An outstanding educational opportunity for our scholars has always been and will continue to be Harris-Stowe’s focus.”
Interim President Constance Gully has been a key senior officer at Harris-Stowe for nearly 15 years, serving first as comptroller and since 2001 as vice president for business and financial affairs. More recently, she has served as an executive vice president. She has been deeply involved in university operations during a period of significant growth of the university and its campus footprint, including leading the campus expansion committee that oversaw the planning and construction of the university’s most recently built facilities. She came to Harris-Stowe after practicing public accounting for 10 years specializing in auditing and management consulting for government and not-for-profit clients. Mrs. Gully will assume her duties as interim president, effective immediately.
“Our goal is to make sure that Harris-Stowe is the right choice for every student we serve,” said Interim President Gully. “I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and the overall St. Louis community to continue Harris-Stowe’s proud tradition of excellence in education. We will continue to foster and embrace our community partnerships.”
“Constance Gully has been a vital force for the growth and development of Harris-Stowe as a full service university for more than a decade, and she is widely respected on campus as a sensible, capable leader,” said Chairwoman Cook. “We know she is the collaborative leader to continue the university’s progress during this transition time. We are confident that during the search process we will attract an outstanding president to bring vision, growth and excellence to Harris-Stowe for the benefit of the St. Louis region.”
In addition to her campus roles, Mrs. Gully is an active leader in the St. Louis community, serving on Metro’s Board of Commissioners to oversee the region’s transit agency, chairing the Dr. Martin Luther King State Celebration Committee, as well as serving the board of directors of the St. Louis Zoo Association and the United Way Women’s Leadership Cabinet for Education. Interim President Gully is married to Andre and has a son, Nicholas.
Harris-Stowe State University, located in midtown St. Louis, is a four-year institution that offers 15 degree programs in the areas of Accounting, Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Care Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Sciences and Computer Technology, Mathematics, Middle School Education, Educational Studies, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education and Urban Affairs. Ranked by U.S. News as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, the university, which has been in existence for more than 150 years, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the state of Missouri. HSSU is home of the Don and Heide Wolff Jazz Institute.