Georgia Southern names new president

Brooks A. Keel, vice chancellor for research and economic development and a professor of biological sciences at Louisiana State University, will become the new president of Georgia Southern University effective Jan. 1, 2010, the Board of Regents announced Monday.

“Dr. Keel has Georgia roots and is a graduate of two (University System of Georgia) institutions, so he is an outstanding success story for the university system and the state. He brings tremendous academic credentials, understands our state challenges on all dimensions and has the experience to link industry and the academy together in creative and compelling ways,” Chancellor Erroll Davis said in a news release.

“I have no doubt that he will be a great partner for the board while leading Georgia Southern to the next level.”

Keel, 53, will replace Bruce Grube, who will step down as Georgia Southern’s president Dec. 31, said Susan Herbst, a University System of Georgia executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. Grube has been the university’s president since July 1, 1999.

Before his appointment at Louisiana State University, Keel was a professor in the department of biomedical sciences and associate vice president for research at Florida State University from 2002 to 2006.

Keel’s professional career began at the University of Kansas-Wichita School of Medicine, where he served in a variety of positions from 1985 to 2002.

He is a member of several organizations, including the Society for the Study of Reproduction, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Gynecologic Investigation. Keel also has served on numerous boards related to his discipline, including the American Board of Bioanalysis.

Keel earned a doctorate in reproductive endocrinology from the Medical College of Georgia, and a bachelor of science in biology and chemistry from Augusta College, now Augusta State University. He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, and the University of South Dakota School of Medicine, Vermillion.

Keel was one of three finalists vying for the position. Also considered to become Georgia Southern’s next president were Kathleen Long, the associate provost and dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Florida, and David Belcher, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.