Delta State University president Dr. John M. Hilpert was re-elected to the position of chair of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges recently at the organization’s annual conference held in Louisville, Ky. Hilpert will serve a second one-year term after assuming the duties of chair in early 2010.
He joins former University of Mississippi Chancellor Dr. Robert Khayat as the only representatives of Mississippi universities to hold the position with the educational accreditation agency.
A Missouri native, Hilpert became the seventh president of Delta State University in 2003 after six successful years as president of Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. During more than 30 years in higher education administration, he has served as executive vice president and acting president of the University of South Dakota and as a vice president at Thiel College in Pennsylvania and executive assistant to the president at Suomi College (now Finlandia University) in Michigan.
Throughout his career, Hilpert has provided leadership for various organizations on boards, task forces, and committees. He was appointed in 2004 by Governor Haley Barbour to serve on Mississippi’s Council for Education Technology. For seven years, Hilpert was a member of the South Dakota Workforce Development Council, a policy group appointed by that state’s governor. As a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, he served as an appointee to both the Commission for the Rural/Regional Agenda and the Task Force on Teacher Education, as well as being elected to the organization’s Council of State Representatives for both South Dakota and Mississippi.
Since 2003, Hilpert has served as board president for the Delta Health Alliance. He was elected president in 2008 of the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities, an organization of all public and private, two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions in the state.