Lander names new interim vice president for academic affairs
Monday, Jul 09, 2012

Danny McKenzieA change in Lander University's senior administrative ranks will go into effect on July 1 when Dr. Danny McKenzie relinquishes his position as vice president for academic affairs and provost so that he can return to his former faculty position in the university's College of Education. 

President Daniel Ball has appointed Dr. David Mash, Lander's dean of library services and director of the Larry A. Jackson Library, to succeed McKenzie as interim vice president. Lisa Wiecki, Lander's assistant librarian for four years, has been appointed interim library director succeeding Mash.

Mash came to Lander in January of 2009 with a 25-year background in administration and academics that included experience as chief administrator and budget officer for libraries and campus information technology in New York and South Carolina. He also served in various committee and leadership positions with the American Library Association and the South Carolina Library Association, and as board chair of the statewide Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL).

He was born and raised in Texas but his family tree is rooted in pre-Revolutionary South Carolina, specifically Edgefield County.

Mash graduated from Southern Methodist University with a psychology degree and went on to receive master's degrees in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and library and information science from the University of North Texas. In 2008, he earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina.

As vice president for academic affairs, Mash said his job will be to champion Lander's academic programs and represent their challenges and needs to ensure proper decision-making. "I will also be responsible for seeing to the welfare of faculty and deans, that they have the people and resources necessary to maintain the high quality and integrity of the programs."

He added that he will also work to ensure high standards among those who are accepted by Lander as students and those it graduates. 

In announcing his appointment of Mash, President Ball said, "During his period as library dean, he has led the excellent transformation and improvement of our library and the services it provides to our students, faculty and other patrons. I am sure he will bring this leadership style and skills to the academic affairs arena."

Mash and his wife, Colleen, an employee of the Richland County Public Library, have two sons and live in Irmo. 

Danny McKenzie said his tenure as vice president for academic affairs has been the best four years of his professional career. "I enjoyed the position but felt I have done what I could do in the job, and it was time to step out and get back to teaching and working more closely with students." He admits to being a little anxious about returning to the classroom after a four-year absence from teaching. But he added, "It's a little like riding a bicycle. You never forget, so I'll be all right."

McKenzie will rejoin Lander's College of Education faculty as a professor in the teacher education program where he will also supervise students as they perform their practice teaching requirements. "It's enjoyable to see students do what we teach them to do."

Before joining Lander in 2001 as dean of the College of Education, McKenzie, was chair of the Department of Education at Columbia College in Columbia; coordinator of science in the Department of Instructional Services in Lexington County School District One; and associate professor of teacher education at the University of South Carolina.

The 59-year-old North Carolina native has bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and a doctorate in science education from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Macy, live in Lexington, and they have a daughter who lives in North Carolina.

Asked what advice he has given his successor, David Mash, McKenzie responded, "Whenever possible, build consensus with faculty and staff before making changes, and try to not be distracted from the goal of providing a learning environment where faculty and students can work together."

He described Lander's faculty and staff as outstanding and the best he has ever worked with.