Associate Provosts In Data Strategy And Academic Innovation Join MGA

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2023 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Health and Natural Sciences | School of Aviation | School of Business | School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | School of Computing | Pressroom | Faculty/Staff | School of Arts and Letters

Macon, GA

L-R Dr. Jesse Bishop and Dr. James Blackburn

Dr. Jesse Bishop joins Middle Georgia State University (MGA) as associate provost for Data Strategy, while Dr. James Blackburn comes on board as associate provost for Academic Innovation.

“Both men bring an impressive amount of experience to their respective positions,” said Dr. David Jenks, MGA’s provost. “We are delighted to have them join our team and help the University continue to move forward in dynamic and creative ways.”

Bishop will lead the Office of Institutional Research and Data Strategy. He is charged specifically with increasing data maturity to standardize reporting and inform discussion. He will be working throughout the University to ensure data is firmly embedded throughout MGA and fully integrated into all decision-making and activities.

“His recent work involves helping teams and individuals understand how data can be used to shape and support students, staff, faculty, and campus communities,” Jenks said.

Blackburn will lead efforts to improve processes across the institution. He is specifically responsible for identifying opportunities for institutional improvement, ranking improvement projects by impact and ease of completion, and recruiting improvement teams to provide recommendations to the provost and other members of the senior leadership team.

“Dr. Blackburn comes to us after leading several initiatives at Georgia State University and has worked with higher education for more than 25 years,” Jenks said. “His work focuses on improving student access and success through service design, quality improvement, data analytics, technology enablement, and behavioral economics.”

Bishop’s most recent position was dean of Institutional Effectiveness & Strategic Initiatives at Georgia Highlands College. He holds an Ed.D in School Improvement with a focus on instructional technology and design from the University of West Georgia. A tenured English professor, he has been a Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow and was founding director of Georgia Highlands’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He is a semifinalist for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  

Blackburn most recently was associate vice president at Georgia State University, where he oversaw the Office of Financial Aid, Office of Student Accounts, and SunTrust Student Financial Management Center. His efforts to improve operational, service, and quality performance of the offices resulted in, among other things, a greatly improved case management system to better serve students. Blackburn holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership and Practice from the University of North Georgia. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and a musician, playing the trumpet for several groups, including the Atlanta Concert Band.