U. Administrator to leave, serve as JMU president


The University’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jonathan Alger will head south next year to serve as president of James Madison University.

The JMU Board of Visitors unanimously selected Alger to follow JMU President Linwood Rose after his retirement in June of 2012 as JMU’s sixth president.

James Hartman, JMU Board of Visitors rector, said he felt Alger’s selection was the right choice for leading the Virginia school, founded in 1908, into the second century of its existence.

“We needed someone with an appreciation for the historical strengths of the University and one willing to invest time to understand our distinct institutional culture,” he said.

Alger said in his acceptance speech yesterday that he would continue to push for JMU to be a leading comprehensive university through balancing undergraduate education and graduate research.

“This vision combines the best of liberal arts education — emphasizing student-centered learning — with a strong complement of distinguished graduate programs aimed at meeting strategic state and national needs,” he said.

Alger was appointed as the University’s vice president and general counsel in 2004 and was promoted to senior vice president in 2008. Alger also served as chief compliance officer and an adjunct professor during his tenure.

Prior to his time at the University, Alger served as assistant general counsel at the University of Michigan where he coordinated the landmark Supreme Court case Grutter vs. Bollinger, which upheld the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies, according to a University statement.

Alger said in his acceptance speech that he looks forward to working toward creating a more diverse atmosphere at JMU.

“Throughout his seven-year tenure Jon has been deeply involved in crafting the University’s strategic decisions, responding to its opportunities and meeting its challenges,” University President Richard L. McCormick said in the statement.

Alger said JMU’s historic ties to James Madison, the father of the constitution, excited him.

“This University can be a model for our nation and our world, as a place where individuals learn how to become fully engaged and enlightened citizens in a democratic society,” he said.

Alger said in order for JMU to continue to succeed it must foster a culture of philanthropy and further its reach.

“We will continue to seek new ways to foster values of diversity, opportunity, civility, sustainability, internationalization and public service,” he said.

— Tabish Talib

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