Bellevue University Tops U.S. News Rankings

Mary Hawkins named President of Bellevue University

John Muller appointed Chancellor and Foundation CEO

Mary Hawkins to be University President; John Muller appointed Chancellor

(APRIL 14, 2009 - Bellevue, Nebraska) Michael H. Simmonds, Chairman of the Board of Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska, announced that Mary Hawkins, Ph.D., will assume the role of President of the University beginning July 1, 2009. As President, Dr. Hawkins will direct all strategic and operational activities of the University, reporting to the Board of Directors.

The leadership change comes in the midst of the University's strongest growth phase in its history – and, in fact, one of the strongest growths of any university in the U.S. Founded more than 40 years ago to serve adult students, Bellevue University affirmed this commitment with a vision to be the nation's foremost university in adult education.

Dr. Hawkins has served as Provost of the University since 2000, responsible for academic standards and operations. During her tenure, the University has grown at an average of 12 percent a year, doubling its enrollment nearly twice. Today Bellevue University is the largest private university in Nebraska and one of the fastest-growing non-profit universities in the country. "Mary Hawkins was an obvious choice for the presidency," said Simmonds. "It takes extraordinary leadership to run an organization as innovative, fast-growing, and student-oriented as Bellevue University. Mary has shown that leadership."

"I am honored by the board's decision and look forward to capitalizing on our momentum with continuing innovation and focus on students and the communities we serve," said Dr. Hawkins.

John Muller, Ph.D., current President, will be named Chancellor as well as CEO of the University's foundation. As CEO of the Bellevue University Foundation, Dr. Muller will initiate a new, more aggressive fund-raising activity for the University, concentrating on initiatives such as Bellevue University's Human Capital LabSM and the Center for American Vision and Values, as well as other new initiatives that align with the University's vision of being the foremost American university in adult education.

When Dr. Muller arrived at the University 24 years ago, he focused new services and programs around the learning needs of working adults. His innovations included accelerated bachelor's degree completion programs, career-relevant bachelor's and master's degrees, supported by advisory boards of professionals, Cyber-Active® Learning – the University's innovative online learning platform, the American Vision and Values series and Bellevue University's Human Capital Lab.

Dr. Muller also introduced a new business operations model that was radically innovative in post-secondary education at the time. Bellevue University does not rely on fund-raising from the private sector or government funding for its operating income. It is entirely tuition supported. "This approach mandated efficiency in operations, while being market-driven," Muller stated. "It required us to concentrate on understanding our markets, teaching and serving students, and making sure they had access to our services. Our extraordinary growth rate demonstrates that we have achieved a measure of expertise in these areas."

About Bellevue University

Bellevue University is a recognized national leader in providing post-secondary education opportunities for working adults and organizations. A private, non-profit institution, Bellevue University serves students at 11 learning sites in five states, as well as worldwide through its online learning platform, Cyber-Active® Learning. Bellevue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit

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