ORANGE BEACH, Ala.—Columbia Southern University’s (CSU) Chief Operating Officer Ken Styron will transition into the role of president beginning May 1, 2018. The university’s board of trustees nominating committee voted in the appointment of Styron to replace CSU’s current President Robert Mayes, Jr.
In his role of president, Styron will focus on execution of strategy, day-to-day operations, policies and procedures. The ceremony for Styron’s inauguration will take place in conjunction with CSU’s 2018 commencement ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, an event that will also honor the university’s 25th anniversary.
“After much thought and prayer, I have made the decision to transition from president of Columbia Southern University—and what better time to do it than during our 25th anniversary,” said Mayes. “During Ken’s tenure with CSU, he has proven himself time and time again. Over the years, I have seen him grow into an exceptional leader. He will be a wonderful president to our employees, and most importantly, our students.”
Since joining CSU in 2002, Styron has capitalized on decades of experience in information technology to propel the online university forward. His background in systems and technology has enabled Styron to lead with a unique perspective built on data and guided by innovation.
During his tenure with CSU, Styron has worked in levels of increasing responsibility including his current role of COO, chief of staff, chief information officer, vice president of instructional design and technology and director of information technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in information science from the University of South Alabama and an MBA from CSU. He serves on the Mobile Area Council Boy Scouts of America Board.
“I am humbled and honored to accept the role of president for Columbia Southern University,” said Styron. “During my time at CSU, I have seen this university grow from a small public safety college in Orange Beach, Alabama, to an international university that’s helped thousands of adult learners create better lives for themselves and their families. As I embark on my presidency, I am committed to continuing this mission.”
Styron will be CSU’s third president following the university’s Co-founder Robert G. Mayes (1993-2005) and the university’s current President and Co-founder, Robert Mayes, Jr., who took office in September 2005. Upon Styron’s transition, Mayes will continue in his role of CEO of Columbia Southern Education Group, CSU’s parent company.