The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Board of Trustees appointed Dr. James Earl Lyons, Sr. as the new Interim President effective March 20, 2013. "Dr. Lyons brings an impressive academic history having served as president of three universities over the past three decades," remarked Dr. Elaine Crider, Chair of the Board of Trustees. She went on to say "we are very fortunate to have Dr. Lyons join us at this important time and will certainly benefit from his extensive leadership experience."
As Interim President, Dr. Lyons will lead the University's efforts to chart a new vision and strategic direction that aligns closely with the District of Columbia's Economic Development Strategy. "I have continually supported the University through my years as an educational leader in the neighboring state of Maryland, and feel honored to have this opportunity to serve as Interim President," said Lyons. He further states, "The University of the District of Columbia plays a vital role in ensuring District residents have accessible and affordable higher educational options, and it is imperative that we have the career ladders they can rely on for workforce development and professional and advance degrees."
Dr, Lyons attended the University of Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish in 1965, a master's in student personnel in 1971, and a Ph.D. in professional higher education administration in 1973. Three years later, he attended the Harvard University Institute for Education Management, where he studied law, finance, affirmative action, accounting for non-profit organizations, personnel management, marketing and labor relations.
In 1983, Dr. Lyons became president of Bowie State University in Maryland. He served there until 1992, when he became president of Jackson State University in Mississippi. Then in 1999 he became president of California State University Dominquez Hills, where he served until 2007. From March 2007 until December 2010, he served as secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission where he helped to establish policies for Maryland's public and private colleges and universities.
Dr. Lyons has served on numerous Boards and Committees including the American Council on Education; the National Institutes of Health’s Task Force on At Risk Drinking; the National Association of State College and Universities; the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the U.S. Dream Academy.