Dr. William J. McKinney joined University Academic Affairs in 2015 as Sr. Advisor for Distance Education, and began his current role as Senior Advisor for Regional Campus Affairs in 2016. Bill’s role encompasses a wide range of responsibilities for the Regional Campuses of Indiana University, especially those strategic projects outlined in Blueprint 2.0. Bill’s work over the years with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) provides a great resource for the Regional Campuses. Under Bill’s leadership, the Regional Campuses of Indiana University are actively involved in the AASCU Re-Imagining the First Year of College project, an ambitious three-year project that seeks a fundamental re-imagining of of the public university experience in the light of the post-2008 economic and demographic New Normal. The 44-campus project is funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USA Funds. A nationally recognized teacher, scholar, and academic leader, Dr. McKinney served as Valdosta State University’s ninth president from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015.  A firm believer of the value of a liberal education, Bill has been actively involved with AAC&U since 1994, serving as a Senior Fellow in the organization from 2015-2016.

During Bill’s tenure, Valdosta State University established itself as a national and international leader in the innovative use of technology and business intelligence.  VSU’s creative use of data analytics led to substantial increases in retention rates and degree production.  During his tenure, the academic quality of VSU’s entering class rose to its highest level in a decade.  In 2014, Valdosta State welcomed its first class of Jennett Scholars, named in honor of a $1 million gift from Jerry and Kay Jennett.       

In addition to his leadership on campus, McKinney served on the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust, the Workforce and Economic Development Committee of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Georgia Regional Commission, and the Economic and AASCU Workforce Development Committee.  He continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Prior to arriving at VSU, Bill served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).  During his tenure at IPFW, Dr. McKinney led the school’s successful regional reaccreditation effort by the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission as well as the process that lead to IPFW’s “Engaged University” designation by the Carnegie Foundation. In his four years at IPFW, sponsored research, grants, and contracts increased by 33 percent.  Under his leadership, IPFW also had significant increases in full-time tenure track faculty, and the percentage of female and minority faculty.

Bill served as the founding Dean of the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania from 2001-08, and as the Chairperson of Philosophy and Religion at Southeast Missouri State from 1997-2001.  He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science in 1992 and his M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science in 1989 from IU-Bloomington.  He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and his B.A. in History from Bucknell University in 1986.  He has published or presented well over 100 papers, book chapters or reviews in such diverse topics as the philosophical nature of scientific experiments, environmental ethics, liberal education, and civic engagement.