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Introduction

Dr. James E. Payne
Dean
J. Whitney Bunting College of Business
Georgia College & State University 

Dr. James E. Payne was recently appointed as Dean of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College & State University. Previously, Dr. Payne served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Orleans. In his role as Provost, Dr. Payne inherited an institution faced with declining enrollments at roughly half pre-Katrina enrollment levels and under monitoring status from SACSCOC. As a result of Dr. Payne’s leadership, the University was successful in being removed from SACSCOC monitoring status and two consecutive years of a 100 percent passage rate on the Louisiana Board of Regents GRAD Act academic performance targets. Dr. Payne oversaw the development of the University’s strategic plan; developed and recommended a cost containment and revitalization plan to address the University’s fiscal imbalances; and initiated efforts to enhance international student recruitment in a proposed joint venture with INTO.

Prior to his appointment at the University of New Orleans, Dr. Payne served as Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Research at the polytechnic campus of the University of South Florida System. In the development of the new campus, Dr. Payne was responsible for program development and coordinated faculty and staff hiring to fulfill the institution’s mission as the state’s first public polytechnic campus. Dr. Payne also oversaw preparation for SACSCOC regional accreditation application, AACSB International Accreditation Maintenance Review, and ABET Accreditation application. In addition, Dr. Payne established the Poly Teaching and Research Forum, Faculty Professional Development Forum, and in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs, the First-Year Poly Experience for Freshmen. Given the decision by the Florida State University System Board of Governors to transition the University to independent status as the 12th University in the System, Dr. Payne was charged with leading the Transition Plan workgroup. However, due to legislative and gubernatorial action, the University of South Florida Polytechnic was closed to establish Florida Polytechnic University.

Previous to his work at the University of South Florida Polytechnic, Dr. Payne spent eight years at Illinois State University as Chair of the Department of Economics and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. As Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Payne provided leadership in the revision of the College’s strategic plan, oversaw the successful launch of the Center for Renewable Energy, and the designation of the Actuarial Science Program as a “Center of Excellence” by the Society of Actuarial Science. Dr. Payne expanded the College’s fund raising efforts in establishing the Executive in Residence Program, departmental recognition for alumni engagement, and enhanced efforts toward corporate foundation support. During this tenure as Interim Dean, both fundraising and grant activity reached the highest levels in the College’s history.

As Chair of the Department of Economics, Dr. Payne led the Department’s strategic planning efforts, curriculum development, and revisions to the annual faculty evaluation process. Dr. Payne supported the development of the first interdisciplinary undergraduate major in renewable energy in the U.S. along with revisions to both the Department’s undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Dr. Payne also fostered collaborative community partnerships through the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development and established the Department’s Economic Advisory Board to engage both alumni and industry partnerships. As a result of such efforts, the Department’s first six endowments were established with both alumni giving and corporate foundation support among the highest in the College. As such, the Department received the College’s “Departmental Advancement Award” and “Departmental Fundraising Award” over the period 2006 to 2009. During his tenure as Chair, both fundraising and grant activity reached the highest levels in the Department’s history.

In addition to his administrative appointments, Dr. Payne has held tenure-track appointments at Oakland University and Eastern Kentucky University as well as visiting appointments at the University of Southern Mississippi, Economics Institute, and the University of Kentucky. Dr. Payne has also been a Fulbright Research Scholar and Fulbright Senior Specialist to the Institute of Economics in Zagreb, Croatia.

During his administrative career, Dr. Payne has continued to be an active scholar, recognized nationally and internationally for his research productivity and citations to his work. His more than 215 refereed journal articles have appeared in such outlets as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic History, Canadian Journal of Economics, Economics Letters, Manchester School, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Macroeconomics, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Energy Economics, Ecological Economics, Journal of Financial Research, Public Choice, and European Journal of Political Economy. Dr. Payne’s research has been funded through grants and fellowships from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, American Institute for Economic Research, Government of Canada, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky Military Affairs Commission, Kentucky Justice Cabinet, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Dr. Payne serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economics and Finance as well as an editorial board member of over a dozen academic journals.

Dr. Payne received his B.A. in Economics from Berea College (1985) and M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1989) degrees in Economics from Florida State University.    

Dr. Jim Payne
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