Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Interview with a Former CNU President

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. James Windsor (shown here), who served as Christopher Newport University's president from 1970 to 1980. The interview was part of an assignment in one of my doctoral classes at William and Mary. I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Windsor before on other projects and am very fond of him and his wife. He is highly regarded at CNU and considered by many to be the university's "elder statesman". During Dr. Windsor's presidential tenure, he was instrumental in guiding Christopher Newport toward independence from William and Mary. CNU (then CNC) was until the mid-1970s a two-year division of W&M. Dr. Windsor and his allies in the community felt that it was important that Christopher Newport achieve independence as a full-functioning four-year public college in order to continue evolving and determine its own destiny. It took a great deal of work and determination, but CNU officially became independent in 1977, and is still Virginia's youngest public higher education institution.

Apart from Dr. Windsor's service at CNU, he has also had a distinguished career as a faculty member and college administrator. Joining Christopher Newport in 1962, he founded the psychology department as well as the student counseling center. He also served as Dean of Students and established summer and evening class programs. Prior to his work in higher education, he also served his country as a U.S. Marine during the Korean War. As a non-commissioned officer, he led anti-tank assault platoons and saw extensive combat while laying and removing mines and other explosives. Overall, Dr. Windsor serves as an excellent role model for those of us who serve in higher education. For more information on him and his service at CNU, please refer to my book, "Christopher Newport University" (2009, Arcadia Publishing).

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