CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 29, 2013 – Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, was named one of nine Icons of Education in the January 2013 edition of Kansas City’s business magazine, Ingram’s. Recognized for his contributions and achievements which have set a standard for educational excellence, Dr. Dobbins was featured along with only four other Missouri educators.
According to the Ingram’s story, “This year’s Icons of Education have made deep, lasting contributions to the lives of the students they’ve touched.”
Dr. Dobbins became the 17th president of Southeast Missouri State University in 1999, after serving in various positions in higher education administration at Kent State University in Ohio and as Vice President for Finance and Administration, and as Executive Vice President at Southeast from 1993 until his appointment as President. Under his leadership at Southeast, enrollment grew from a low of 7,925 to the 12th straight year of record-breaking enrollments and more than 11,700 students in Fall 2012 — a more than 47 percent increase.
He served as president of the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE), and has the distinction of having served as president longer than any other public four-year president in the state. Dr. Dobbins also served two terms as president of the Ohio Valley Conference. He has served as chairperson of the Committee on Professional Development for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and he continues to be one of only five presidents in the nation who teach in that organization’s academy for newly appointed university presidents. He has been a faculty member in AASCU’s New President’s Academy for the past eight years. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the organization in 2008, chaired the organization in 2010-2011, and served on the executive committee as past chair of the AASCU Board. He is a member of the Board of Directors and chaired the Finance Committee of the American Academic Leadership Institute and is a vice president of membership and a member of the executive board of the Greater St. Louis Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Dr. Dobbins is an Alumni Leadership Award recipient for Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services Annual Hall of Fame Awards and the Kent State University Alumni Association Special Achievement Award. He also received the Old Dominion University Distinguished Alumni Award.
He earned his B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Akron (Ohio) in 1971 and served as a commissioned officer and civilian executive in the U.S. Air Force for almost 10 years. He received the M.B.A. degree in 1979 from Old Dominion University (Virginia), and the Ph.D. in higher education administration in 1987 from Kent State, where in 2011, he was awarded the Alumni Leadership Award for the College of Education, Health and Human Services Annual Hall of Fame Awards. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in Ohio.
Dr. Dobbins and his wife, Jeanine Larson Dobbins, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Missouri Statewide Early Literacy Intervention Program based at Southeast, have a son, Paul, and a daughter-in-law, Stacey, who are both Southeast graduates, and a grandson, Lincoln Kenneth Dobbins.