Dr. Paul Conn, president of Lee University, has been elected by the school’s Board of Directors to serve a new term beginning August 1. The action was taken in the board’s session during the commencement weekend, according to Gary Sharp, chairman of the board.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Conn has accepted a new term as president,” Sharp said. “He has led the university in many outstanding accomplishments and we believe many more wonderful years are ahead.” Sharp said the board’s action was “unanimous and enthusiastic” and extends Conn’s appointment for a four-year term, beginning this summer and ending in 2018.
In accepting the appointment, Conn said: “I have a tremendous sense of gratitude for the board’s support of me and what we are doing here at Lee. I’m grateful for the excellent faculty and staff I work with, and I honestly look forward to going to campus to begin every new day. We have lots of exciting goals in our future, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive or positive faculty and board to partner with on this journey.”
Conn became president in 1986 after teaching for 15 years on Lee’s psychology faculty. He is a graduate of Lee and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University in psychology. He later served as a postdoctoral Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and has spent four years there in postdoctoral study. He holds the rank of Professor of Psychology and still teaches an undergraduate psychology course at Lee for 100 students each fall semester.
During his tenure as Lee president, Conn has been elected by his presidential peers to serve on many professional boards. He has served on the national board of the Council of Independent Colleges, spent two terms on the executive committee of the Southern Association Commission on Colleges, served on the executive board of Appalachian Colleges Association, and was elected to three three-year terms on the national board of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. In athletics, he served as president of the Southern States Athletic Conference before Lee left that organization to join the NCAA, Division II in 2012.
Lee University is currently in a capital campaign called the “Find Us Faithful” campaign which is nearing completion of a new $10 million building for the Department of Communication Arts, and which will include the construction of a new School of Nursing by late 2016, along with other projects.
Conn is married to Darlia McLuhan Conn, who is a member of the adjunct piano faculty in Lee’s School of Music; together they have three children and ten grandchildren.