2014 New Presidents Academy: Speakers

President Emerita, Longwood University (Va.)

Patricia CormierPatricia Cormier served as president of Longwood University from 1996 to 2010. She has been a lead member of the academy faculty for the past decade and in 2011 became the academy’s coordinator. She has been both a chief academic officer and a chief advancement officer and has expertise in board development, presidential and vice presidential reviews, advancement and marketing.

Kenneth Dobbins, President, Southeast Missouri State University

Kenneth DobbinsKenneth Dobbins was appointed president of Southeast Missouri State University in 1999, following eight years of service as vice president for finance and administration and later as executive vice president. He also held a variety of financial management positions at Kent State University (Ohio). He joined the academy faculty in 2005 and served as the chair of the AASCU board of directors in 2011. Dobbins has expertise in financial and facilities planning, developing public/private partnerships, and leveraging enrollment to enhance revenue.

Matthew S. Holland

Matthew S. HollandMatthew S. Holland is the President of Utah Valley University, where he has served since June of 2009. Before assuming his current position, President Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought. In 2007, his book Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America was published by Georgetown University Press. Currently, he serves on numerous community boards, including the editorial advisory board of the Deseret News and the boards of the Utah Valley and Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Paige, have four children, Jacob, Mitzi, Grace and Dan.

Dr. Muriel A. Howard

Muriel A. Howard - largeDr. Muriel A. Howard was named president of AASCU in April 2009. She is the first African-American to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C. She is also AASCU’s first female president.

As AASCU president, Dr. Howard is an advocate for public higher education at the national level, working to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of member colleges and universities; serving as a resource to presidents and chancellors as they address state policy and emerging campus issues; developing collaborative partnerships and initiatives that advance public higher education; directing a strategic agenda that focuses on public college and university leadership for the 21st century; and providing professional development opportunities for presidents, chancellors, and their spouses. Read her full bio

Jolene Koester, President Emerita, California State University, Northridge

Jolene KoesterJolene Koester served as president of CSU Northridge from 2000 to 2011. She was previously the provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Sacramento. Koester has expertise in presidential and organizational communication, strategic planning, system relationships and team development.

Keith T. Miller, President, Virginia State University

Keith MillerKeith Miller has served as president of Virginia State University since 2010 and was formerly president of Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. He also served as the chief academic officer at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and dean of the College of Business at Niagara University. Miller has expertise in media and legislative relations, community development and strategic visioning.

Steve Turner

Steve TurnerSteve Turner, Northeastern’s 19th president, is a role model for the regional university system as a nontraditional, first-generation graduate. Prior to his NSU appointment, Turner served as vice president for administration and finance and executive assistant to the president for governmental relations and economic development at East Central University in Ada, Okla. Turner began his career in higher education at ECU in 1989, serving in many capacities, including campus police officer, tenured professor and chair of the department of human resources. Turner and his wife, Penny, have two sons Matt and Tim, and a daughter-in-law, Kelley. 


  • Deborah SkeltonAssistant to the Vice President for Membership Serviceskeltond@aascu.org(202) 478-4646

NPA is supported by generous funding from AALI