President's Bio

Dr. Mickey L. Burnim

Dr. Mickey Burnim,

A native of Texas, Mickey L. Burnim began his career as an economist. Earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Texas, in Denton, in 1970, and then his master’s degree, two years later, he went on to earn a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 1977.

Dr. Burnim began his academic career as an assistant professor of economics at Florida State University from 1976 to 1982, but then moved into administration as the assistant vice president for academic affairs in the general administration office of the University of North Carolina system (UNC). Remaining faithful to his calling as a teacher, Dr. Burnim also held assistant and associate professorships in the economics department of the university’s Chapel Hill campus before moving to North Carolina Central University, a historically black institution in Durham, becoming the vice chancellor for academic affairs. He was, later, named provost of that campus. 

Continuing his career in academia, Dr. Burnim was appointed chancellor and CEO of Elizabeth City State University, also an HBCU within the UNC system. During his eleven-year tenure, he successfully focused on issues related to financial affairs, declining enrollment, and educational standards. He reorganized the university into four schools, expanding the curriculum offerings to include seven new baccalaureate degree programs, and implemented the first three master’s programs. Fostering a culture of student-centeredness throughout the campus, Dr. Burnim also modeled this behavior by dining with the students, regularly, and hosting monthly student gatherings at the Chancellor’s Residence to discuss noteworthy social concerns, political issues, and world affairs.

Being called upon, once again, to serve as the chief executive of a university, Dr. Burnim was appointed president of Bowie State University in 2006. His focus on innovation, research, and academic program expansion prepared the school to be a leader in STEM, teaching, and research, while also improving the university’s community outreach, business practices, and transforming the landscape of the campus with the addition of a $71 million Fine and Performing Arts Center, a $42 million Student Center, and a $107 million Science, Mathematics, and Nursing facility.

Publications and Papers

“Md. HBI Remedy Lacking”. Op-ed The Baltimore Sun.  December 2015.

“The Impact of the Brown Decision on Public HBCUs: A North Carolina Case Study,” in Byrne, D. N. (Ed). Brown v. Board of Education: Its Impact on Public Education 1954-2004. New York, NY, The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, July, 2005, pp. 139-158.

“The Warranty of the Baccalaureate Degree,” National Institute for Education Conference on Involvement in Learning, New Orleans, April 1985.

“The Changing Status of Economic Minorities: 1948-1977,” with David Rasmussen, The Review of Black Political Economy, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Fall 1982), pp. 5-14.

“Benefits and Costs of a Public Service Employment Program: A Case Study in Florida,” with J. H. Cobbe, Growth and Change, Vol. 13, No. 1 (January 1982), pp. 9-18.

“The Earnings Effect of Black Matriculation in Predominantly White Colleges,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 33, No. 4 (July 1980), pp. 518-524.

“Investments in College Education for Black Males,” in Proceedings of the American Statistical Association’s 137th Annual Meeting (1978).

A Survey of Minority Businesses in Florida: a research report prepared for the Florida Department of Community Affairs (1979).

An Evaluation of the Pubic Service Employment Projects in Florida Created Under Title VI of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973: A research report submitted to the Florida Office of Manpower Planning (1978).

Selected Presentations

Panelist, National Security & Intelligence Leadership Summit (May 2016).

Panelist, Rainbow Push Coalition PUSH Tech 2020 Summit (April 2016).

Keynote Speaker, Grants Resource Center (GRC) 2016 Funding Competitiveness Conference, American Association of Colleges and Universities (February 2016).

Panelist, Virginia Union University’s HBCU Presidents Panel (November 14, 2015).

Keynote Speaker, Galilee Baptist Church’s Annual Thanksgiving Worship Service (November 5, 2014).

Presenter, MD-DC Campus Compact’s Presidents’ Institute (November 2014).

Participant, American Association of State Colleges and Universities Presidential Symposium (November 2014).

Participant, Roundtable on College Affordability with Senators Mikulski and Cardin and the 2014 HBCU White House Conference (September 2013).

Host, The White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Briefing with Congressman Hoyer and Senator Cardin (October 3, 2013).

“The Effect of the Changing Occupational Distribution on the Earnings of Black Men,” Fifty-Second Annual Conference of the Southern Economic Association (November 1982).

“Equality in Education and Employment?” an invited presentation in the Oliver Cromwell Cox Lecture Series of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (March 1981).

“Black Employment, Unemployment, and Labor Force Participation During the 1980’s,” an invited presentation to the Washington-Based Black Economists Organization (January 1981).

“The Black Labor Force in the 1980’s,” an invited presentation given at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. (October 1980).

“Nonemployment Benefits of a Public Service Employment Program: A Case Study in Florida,” co-authored with James Cobbe, at the Western Economic Association Meeting (June 1979).

“The Efficacy of CETA Title VI Projects: A Case Study in Florida,” The Fifth Annual Convention of The Eastern Economic Association (Spring 1979).

“The Economic Status of Black Americans and How It Relates to Their Purchasing Power,” National Sales Meeting of the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic Corporation (1977).

“Investments in College Education for Black Males,” 137th Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association (1977).

“Economic Progress and the Current Position of Black Americans,” Second Annual Council Conference in Tampa, Florida (1977).

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities
    • (Chairman of the Board, 2012)
    • (Steering Committee Chair, Millennium Leadership Institute, 2014 – 2017)
    • (Faculty Member, New Presidents Academy, 2010)
    • (Faculty Member, Provost to President Seminar, 2008 – 2011)
    • (Member of the Board, 2005 – 2017)
    • (Steering Committee Member, Millennium Leadership Institute, 2000 – 2010; 2013 – 2017)
  • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
    • (Member, 1998 – 2000)
    • (Executive Council, 2001 – 2003)
  • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
    • (Officer, Board of Trustees, 1994 – 2004)
  • National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
    • (Board of Directors, December 1, 2001 – 2013)

Memberships on Other Boards and Councils

  • Prince George’s County Business Roundtable (January 2016—June 2017)
  • NCAA Division II Presidents Council (2009 – 2013)
  • Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Board of Directors
    • (Board of Directors, 1995 to 2017; Chairman of the Board, 2003 – 2005; 2011 – 2013)
  • The Bowie Rotary Club (2007 – 2010)
  • The Elizabeth City Rotary Club, 1995 – 2006
  • Wachovia Bank Advisory Board for Elizabeth City, 1996 – 2006
  • Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, 2000 – 2006
  • The Elizabeth City Salvation Army, 1996 – 2006
  • Systems and Computer Technology Corporation (SCT) Executive Advisory Council, 2003 – 2005
  • Mutual Community Savings Bank Board, 1991 – 1996

Special Appointments and Assignments

  • Commissioner for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), 1998-2000; 2001-2003
  • SACS Executive Council, 2002-2003; served as chairperson of the North Carolina Delegation
  • Chair of the Visiting Team for the Reaffirmation of Accreditation for Texas A. & M. University – Texarkana, March 28-30, 2006, the University of Houston – Victoria (TX), March 31-April 3, 2003; Grambling State University (LA), October 21-23, 2002; Mississippi Valley State University (MS), April 2-5, 2002; Athens State University (AL), March 13-15, 2000.

Media Appearances/Interviews

  • Featured Guest, The Ed Brown Show, shared information about the 150th anniversary celebrations and new developments at the university (November 4, 2015). 
  • Featured Guest, The Mary Harrison Show, spoke on the advantages and challenges faced by many colleges and universities (August 13, 2015). 
  • Featured Guest, National Public Radio (NPR), “Black Colleges Cope with Shrinking Budgets,” discussion on the sustainability of the nation’s historically black colleges (September 2, 2009).
  • Interviewer, The President’s Update television show
  • Featured Guest, William “Brit” Kirwan, Chancellor, University System of Maryland (2009)
  • Featured Guest, James E. Lyons, Sr., Secretary, Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) (2009)
  • Featured Guest, Ingrid Turner, Councilwoman, Prince George’s County (2009)
  • Featured Guest, Edward St. John, CEO, St. John’s Properties (2008)

Selected Honors and Awards Received

  • Designation as President Emeritus of Bowie State University by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, July 11, 2017
  • The Governor’s Citation for service from the Honorable Larry Hogan, Jr., June 30, 2017
  • Resolution from the Maryland Senate for service and leadership, March, 2017
  • Resolution from the Maryland House of Delegates for service and leadership, March, 2017
  • Proclamation from the Mayor and City Council of Bowie, Maryland recognizing a distinguished career in higher education and years of service at Bowie State University, June 19, 2017
  • Resolution of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland for exemplary service, July 11, 2017