Dr. Max Burns spent part of this week getting acquainted with the community of Barnesville, Ga., and the communities surrounding the small college town.
Soon, he will be able to count himself among the community's leaders.
Burns was named recently –– by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) –– as the third president of Gordon College. He will assume the post on Jan. 1, 2012.
"I am very excited to have been selected as the next president of Gordon College," said Burns, dean of the Mike Cottrell School of Business at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega since 2008.
"I appreciate the confidence in me that the board has shown by selecting me as president of Gordon College," Burns said. "I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and Gordon College community to further the excellence occurring at this institution."
Burns will replace Gordon College interim president Shelley Nickel, who has served since July 2010, after Dr. Lawrence Weill retired in June 2010. Weill had served as president of the school since April 2002.
"Dr. Burns stood out from a strong field as the person with the right experience and expertise needed to lead Gordon College," said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby in a written statement. "We have a strong and growing institution in Gordon College, and his selection as president promises great days are ahead for the college and its students."
Burns has served as associate dean, and chairman of the business administration department at the Cottrell School of Business at North Georgia College & State University.
Before his appointment as chairman, Burns was a candidate for U.S. Representative in the 12th Congressional District of Georgia.
He also worked as a senior policy advisor at Thelen, Reid and Priest, LLP, in Washington, D.C., and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 12th Congressional District for one term, between 2003 and 2005.
The incoming president holds a Ph.D., in business administration, from Georgia State University, in Atlanta. He also has a master's of business information systems from the same institution. Additionally, he earned his bachelor's in industrial engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Burns has been a professor at several universities, including Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Domestically, he has taught at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, and at Georgia State.
Regent James Jolly, chairman of the Special Regent's Committee for the presidential search at Gordon College, said, "Dr. Burns has a unique array of leadership experience and governance that will be an asset to Gordon College and the system."