JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 24, 2004 – R. Keith Absher of Florence, Ala. has been named dean of the McAfee School of Business Administration at Union University, effective July 1. Absher replaces Walton Padelford, who served as interim dean during the search process. Padelford is University Professor of Economics at Union.
“Keith Absher's coming to Union as our dean of the McAfee School of Business Administration is a significant step toward ensuring an excellent future for Union University,“ said Provost Carla Sanderson. “Dr. Absher has the ideal combination of experience, personality, community involvement, and commitment to a Christian world and life view for a leader at Union and in the Jackson community.”
Absher is currently chair of the management and marketing department at the University of North Alabama (UNA). Prior to his appointment to that position in 2001, he was professor of marketing at UNA. He has taught at the university level since 1974, including employment at Athens (Ala.) State College and Jacksonville (Ala.) State University. Absher also served as a visiting professor at Western University in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Among his accomplishments, Absher was a finalist for Phi Kappa Phi Teacher of the Year, was recipient of an Excellence in Service Award in Higher Education from the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and was recognized as Teacher of the Year for the State of Alabama by the Alabama Higher Education in Business Association. He also was an Oxford Scholar during his tenure at the University of Arkansas and Eminent Scholar Chair at UNA. In addition, he has more than 25 years experience as a business consultant in marketing and strategic planning.
“Union University is blessed to have someone of Keith Absher's stature and experience to lead the School of Business in the years to come,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “Keith's outstanding knowledge of the business world, his commitment to community and regional growth, and his reputation in the academic world will serve well the students, faculty, and friends of Union University in coming days. We are thrilled to have him join us.”