Since its establishment in 1908, James Madison University has grown from a small state normal and industrial school for women to today’s coeducational comprehensive university with a fall 2003 enrollment of 15,769.
The university was founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, with Julian Ashby Burruss as its first president. The school opened its doors to its first student body in 1909 with an enrollment of 209 students and a faculty of 15. Its first 20 graduates received diplomas in 1911. In 1914, the name of the school was changed to the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg. The school received authorization to award bachelor’s degrees in 1916. During this initial period of development, Burruss’ administration established the campus plan and constructed six buildings.
After Burruss resigned in 1919, Dr. Samuel Page Duke became the second president. Duke’s administration erected nine major buildings. In 1924, the university became the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg and continued under that name until 1938, when it was named Madison College in honor of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. In 1946, the Duke administration admitted men as regular day students.
Following the retirement of Duke, Dr. G. Tyler Miller became the third president of the university in 1949 and remained until 1970. Miller’s administration enlarged the campus by 240 acres and constructed 19 buildings. The administration also revamped the curriculum. In 1954, the expanding school received authority to grant master’s degrees. The university became a coeducational institution in 1966.
Dr. Ronald E. Carrier became JMU’s fourth president in 1971. His administration changed Madison College into a university. In 1977, the university adopted its current name, James Madison University. The Carrier administration nearly tripled the number of students and university faculty members and constructed some 30 major campus buildings. Doctoral degrees were authorized in 1994.
Dr. Linwood H. Rose was named JMU’s fifth president in September, 1998. Under his leadership, JMU has continually been recognized in national publications as one of the nation’s finest institutions of its type. Before being named president, Rose had served as a member of the institution’s administration for 23 years, including service as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The general responsibility for the administration of the university has been assigned to the president, who is appointed by the JMU Board of Visitors. When the board is in recess, its executive committee may exercise the power of the board.
Assisting the president in the administration of the university are the provost and vice president for academic affairs, the senior vice president for administration and finance, the senior vice president for student affairs, university planning and analysis, the vice president for university advancement, and the executive assistant to the president.
Appointment to these positions, to other administrative offices and to the university’s faculty and staff are made by the JMU Board of Visitors upon the recommendation of the president.
JMU consists of a College of Graduate and Professional Programs and five undergraduate colleges: