4 The Compass Friday, November 3, 1995 Interim Chancellor Mickey Burnim is committed to working for ECSU ' ■■ ^ ' -r Dr. Mickey Burnim address ECSU during the University Meeting held September 20 In Moore Hall Auditorium. Chancellor Burnim promised to provide "strong leadership” and expressed his willingness “to work with everyone, no matter how long I’m here." Photo courtesy of University Relations Students are here to get an education, and the primary way to do that is in the classroom. Our business is the business of education/' — Dr. Mickey L. Burnim by Latisha Edwards ECSU's Interim Chancellor, Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, believes in the power of education to make the world a better place to live. "I have chosen to make my contribu tion to the world through education," said Burnim, a soft-spoken man with a quiet, dignified manner. Burnim was appointed Interim Chancellor by UNC-System President C. D. Spangler following the August resignation of Dr. Jimmy Jenkins. At ECSU Burnim quickly demon strated his priorities regarding educa tion by refusing to cancel afternoon classes for Jamfest/Chill-out Day. Activities such as Jamfest should be attended "between classes," said Burnim, who says he is determined to take a "non-nonsense, caring, and com mitted approach" to running this Uni versity. "I don't want anyone to be confused about our mission and what our pri orities are," he adds. "Students need to go to class and teachers need to teach. Students are here to get an education, and the primary way to do that is in the classroom. Our business is the busi ness of education." A native of Teague, Texas, Burnim earned imdergraduate and master's degrees in economics from North Texas State University. He received his doc torate in economics from the Univer sity of Wisconsin in 1977. After teaching economics at Florida State University for five years, Burnim worked as assistant vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina system. In 1986, he be came North Carolina Central University's chief academic officer. He was appointed Provost of N.C. Central in 1990, and remained in both posi tions until coming to ECSU. President Spangler offered Burnim the position of interim chancellor around two p.m. on Aug. 28, recalls Bumim. Two days later, he reported for work at ECSU's administration building— before 8 a.m. Bumim says he doesn't know why he was chosen as interim chancellor but feels his academic achievements, integrity and experience played a ma jor role in the selection. "I take advantage of opportunities I feel are worthwhile," he says, adding that he accepted the position only after consulting with his family. Bumim praised his wife. La Vera, a feUow Teague Texan, with helping in the transition to his new position. "Her support and encouragement meant a lot." The Burnims' daughter, Cinnamon, 25, is a staff writer for The Catholic Standard in Washington, DC. Their son Adrian, 19, is a sophomore at the Uni versity of Virginia and a defensive back for the university football team. La Vera Burnim works as the budget director for Durham County. "Family is important," said Burnim, who tries to attend as many of his son's football games as possible at UVA. "My daughter coaches volleyball part-time," he adds. "I want to see her team play, too." Bumim is not certain how long he will serve as interim chancellor of ECSU, but he is determined to work hard on behalf of the University while he is here. His number one priority is too boost enrollment. "We need to work together on this," he says. "The success or failure of this enterprise rests on all our shoulders. All of us have a stake in meeting our enrollment challenge." Bumim is equally determined to en sure the quality of the University's aca demic programs. "We need to work toward the qualitative improvement of academic programs and ensure faculty members have appropriate creden tials." Although he is not planning to ap ply for the position of Chancellor of ECSU, Bumim added that he would be "inclined to seriously consider ac cepting the position" if he is nominated. At this point he is not concerning himself with the permanent position, however. "I am mainly concerned about doing a good job as interim chancellor," he said. The position of chancellor will be advertised nationally and potential candidates will be evaluated by a search committee appointed by the ECSU's Board of Trustees, according to Joni Worthington, public relations director for the UNC system. The com- iruttee will submit the names of at least two finalists to UNC Systems Presi dent C. D. Spangler. The UNC Board of Governors will make the final decision. Burnim said he is grateful for the warm acceptance he has received from the ECSU campus and local commu nity. He has also been impressed with ECSU students whom he describes as being "better behaved and more man nerly than those of many institutions. Obviously there are some very good students here who will do well and make their mark on the world." Bumim encourages students "to go beyond what's required in class" and to set high goals. "Work hard to graduate in four years with the highest GPA you can," he ad vises. "This will open doors for you later on. Rather than being passive, ask yourself, 'What do I need to know? What do I need to be exposed to?' " ECSU's new interim chancellor also had words of praise for faculty and alumni, and he looks forward to work ing with alunrmi, whom he feels have "a great deal of concem for this Uni versity." For leisure. Chancellor Bumim en joys reading espionage and science fic tion novels. He also plays golf and has a serious program of exercise, includ- ing jogging, racquet ball and other car diovascular exercises. "I take my health seriously," he says. A relaxing day for Mickey Bumim would include exercising, playing golf, working a couple of hours, driving to the Outer Banks with his wife, and watching a football game. Burnim, who describes himself as "goal-oriented, time conscious, sys- tems-oriented and straightforward," believes he has much to offer ECSU. "I share the concems of the people," he said. "I'll make decisions based on what I feel is best for the Urviversity." In announcing Burnim's appoint ment President Spangler praised him for his "impressive academic qualifi cations, extensive administrative expe rience, and the qualities of character required to shepherd this important northeastem constituent of the Univer sity of North Carolina."