Winthrop University trustees pick Kent State dean Dan Mahony as school's new president


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ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Winthrop University trustees picked a dean at Kent State University on Friday to be the school's new president.

Dan Mahony will start his new job in Rock Hill in mid-July. He is currently dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State and is a sports management professor.

He replaces Jamie Comstock Williamson, who was fired by trustees last summer after only a year after they accused her of violating the university's nepotism policy by having her husband hired. They said she lied about it and was demeaning and rude to her staff.

Mahony was chosen from nearly 70 applicants, including University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Arts and Sciences Dean Jeff Elwell. College of Charleston School of Business Dean Alan Shao was also a finalist, but withdrew before trustees met.

During his campus visit, Mahoney said he wanted to be a collaborative president to help university administrators to have better relationships with students, faculty and the rest of Rock Hill. He is an accountant who pointed out Kent State's donations increased 35 percent in the past two years.

"The board of trustees was very impressed by Dr. Mahony's academic background and his strong record as a leader in higher education. His accounting background gives him a business-like management approach," said a statement by Kathy Bigham, chairwoman of the trustees and the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

Mahony's first job on his resume was working at the ticket office at the University of Cincinnati. He has his undergraduate degree in accounting from Virginia Tech, his masters from West Virginia University and his doctorate from Ohio State University, both in sports management.

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