Dr. Mickey L. Burnim began his tenure as the ninth president of Bowie State University (BSU) on September 1, 2006. With more than 25 years of experience as a leader in higher education, Burnim has engaged the university community in a shared vision that is guiding the enhancement of institutional excellence and academic distinction with a focus on helping students succeed.
Under his leadership, Bowie State University has seen steady growth in enrollment and the addition of eight new degree programs. His focus on strengthening the fiscal foundation of the university has led to significant increases in grants and contracts, the launch of a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign and a revitalized BSU Foundation. He has built stronger relationships with alumni, citizens, and civic groups who are showing greater support and participation in giving to advance the university's commitment to student success. His push to expand the university's influence and engagement beyond the campus resulted in the opening of the Bowie Business Innovation Center and the Center for Global Engagement, substantially raising the profile of BSU across the region and the world.
An economist by training, Burnim holds a B.A. degree and an M.A. degree from the University of North Texas, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, all in economics. He has written papers and published several scholarly articles on labor economics and public finance. In 2013, President Burnim was honored with an endowed distinguished professorship in his name at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). Funded by the C.D. Spangler Foundation, the new position will be added to the faculty of the ECSU's Walter R. Davis School of Business and Economics
Burnim serves on the board of directors for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Education (NAFEO), and he recently completed his terms as chairman of the board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and a member of the President's Council for Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He currently serves as chairman of the Board for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and as an educational leadership consultant to various entities.
Prior to arriving at Bowie State University, Burnim served as the chancellor for 11 years at Elizabeth City State University. He also previously served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University. Earlier in his career, he worked as assistant vice president for academic affairs in the General Administration of the University of North Carolina; and as a staff economist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He began his career as a faculty member at Florida State University.
A native of Teague, Texas, the president and his wife, LaVera Levels Burnim, have two adult children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren.