Montpelier: James Madison University Magazine

Linwood H. Rose Becomes JMU's Fifth President
Montpelier Fall 1998

Two weeks into the 1998 fall semester, Linwood H. Rose, 47, became the fifth president of James Madison University. Prior to his appointment on Sept. 9 by the JMU Board of Visitors, Rose was executive vice president at JMU. He had been a member of the university's administration for 23 years and last fall he served as acting president.

"Dr. Rose is a man of experience and wisdom. He has the expertise, the background, the commitment, the love of JMU, the vision and the leadership ability to propel JMU toward even greater levels of excellence as we enter the 21st century," said Rector Henry Harrell in announcing the board's decision. "He is dedicated to JMU and has been an important player in the enormous success that JMU has enjoyed in recent years."

"As far as I am concerned, this is the best presidency in America," said the new president upon his appointment. "There is no place I would rather be. I will devote my full energy to serving the constituents of this great university as we progress to our centennial in 2008."

"Lin Rose is a respected educator, and JMU is very fortunate to have him," said Alexander B. Berry III, former board rector and head of the search committee. "He has respect for and respect from all of JMU's constituencies - parents, faculty members, alumni, present and past members of the board, state legislators, and officials in higher education throughout the country"

Berry said Rose "is the right man and the best man for JMU at this time. He has a great personal vision for the university as it continues to develop from this marvelous foundation into something even greater. He has the energy and the will and the passion to lead JMU into the best comprehensive university in the country."

The board's presidential search committee named Rose as its top choice for the position in August after a five-month search. More than 100 college presidents, vice presidents, deans and faculty members from throughout the country applied for the position. The full board appointed Rose on Sept. 9. Assisted by a consultant, the 12-member search committee was composed of seven board members, current and past speakers of the JMU Faculty Senate, the student representative to the board of visitors, the president of the JMU Honor Council and the president of the JMU Alumni Association.

Harrell said, "We looked for a president who could lead a superior educational institution. Linwood Rose clearly has demonstrated that he is the right person. He has administrative experience, and more importantly administrative talent, which not all educators have. This is important," he said, "because James Madison University is a large institution with a budget of many millions of dollars. He has a long and successful relationship with the legislators and administrations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is uniquely qualified."

Said JMU Faculty Senate President Arch Harris, "This is a unique institution, one that stresses undergraduate teaching. It is a leader in that area, and Dr. Rose is part of that culture." Harris, who served on the presidential search committee, continued, "One of his strengths is the respect he carries. In speaking with other faculty, they've indicated that he has been honest and straightforward. A wide variety of faculty have indicated they have had good experiences in working with him," Harris said.

"Dr. Rose exemplifies what JMU is today and what we all believe in," said Kristy Weeks ('98), former student member of the board and member of the search committee. "And at the same time you can see that he's definitely the person who's ready to make the changes that will take JMU to the next level. He's so innovative, and he will define the university and help define higher education as a whole in the next century.

"What's neat about him from the student perspective," she added, "is that he's well respected not just as an administrator, but as a mentor to students."

Current student member of the board of visitors Brannen Edge ('99) said, "The majority of students I've talked to have expressed overwhelming support for Dr. Rose. We thought he did a great job as acting president last year. He will continue to do great things and do them on his own terms. I feel very optimistic that Dr. Rose will be open to the student body."

JMU Alumni Association President Hugh Lantz ('73) echoed those sentiments on behalf of alumni. "Lin Rose knows the history and culture of JMU and has shown his loyalty for 23 years. We think of him almost as an alumnus of the university. When he makes a decision for JMU no matter what the outcome, alumni will feel that they have been listened to," said Lantz, who served on the search committee.

Rose is only the fifth president in JMU's 90-year history. The university's first president, Julian Ashby Burruss, served from JMU's founding in 1908 until 1919 when he became president of Virginia Tech. Burruss was followed as president by Samuel Page Duke (1919 - 1949) and G. Tyler Miller (1949-1971).

Rose succeeds JMU's fourth president, Ronald E. Carrier. Last March, the board appointed Carrier as JMU's first chancellor to lend expertise and advice as requested on matters related to raising private support for JMU. Throughout his 23-year JMU career, Rose has had leadership experience in every division of the university. He has been executive vice president since 1994 and chief operating officer of the university since late in 1995. He was acting president of the university in the fall of 1997. Four years ago, Rose was promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president.

Rose also served as an assistant to Carrier and assistant vice president for university relations before taking a leave from JMU in 1985-86 to serve as deputy secretary of education for Virginia. He became vice president for administration in 1986 and vice president for administration and finance the following year.

He came to JMU in 1975 as assistant director of residence halls and moved to the directorship of that office in 1979.

Active in community activities, Rose has served as chairman of Rockingham Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and as president and campaign chairman of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County United Way.

Rose earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Virginia Tech, his master's in educational administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee, and his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Virginia.

While her husband has become JMU's fifth president, Judith Marie Rose has become the university's sixth first lady. Elise R. Miller died in 1956 during the presidency of her husband, G. Tyler Miller, the college's third president. He later married Betty Mauzy, who served as the college's fourth first lady for the remainder of his tenure.

"Lin is devoted to this university and to Harrisonburg, and I look forward to supporting his efforts to build upon the success JMU has already enjoyed," Mrs. Rose said. "I am obviously confident in his abilities."

This fall the Roses moved into Oakview, the official residence of JMU's president since 1977. The Roses have two grown sons, Chad and Shane, and two younger sons, John, 14, and Scott, 11.

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