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APSU Board of Trustees names Dr. Michael Licari as University’s 11th president

Dr. Michael Licari

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Austin Peay State University Board of Trustees named Dr. Michael Licari as the University’s 11th president during a special meeting on Dec. 21. Licari currently serves as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Indiana State University.

"I am honored and excited to serve as Austin Peay State University’s next president," Licari said. "Starting from a position of strength, APSU is ready to move forward as it serves students, the local community, and the state of Tennessee. Austin Peay transforms lives, providing students from many different backgrounds and experiences an opportunity to earn a degree and achieve their career and life goals. I am also excited to work to deepen the connection of APSU to the local community and the state of Tennessee. All of this is the very work that energizes and motivates me. Throughout my career, I have sought out the very things that Austin Peay is doing so well, so this is a perfect fit for me. 

"Kirsten and I are thrilled to join the Austin Peay family, and we are looking forward to getting to know everyone on campus and in the wider community. Everyone has been so welcoming! We are excited to call Clarksville 'home' and to get involved in the community!"

Dr. Alisa White, the University’s 10th president, left Austin Peay in August to assume the presidency of Sam Houston State University in Texas. The University quickly appointed a 23-member Presidential Search Committee, and it partnered with Storbeck Search, a nationally recognized search firm serving higher education, to conduct a national search for Austin Peay’s next president.

“I am confident that the APSU Board of Trustees has chosen an outstanding 11th president in Dr. Michael Licari,” Mike O’Malley, chair of the search committee and chair of APSU’s Board of Trustees, said. “He is an experienced and proven leader who will help guide the institution with distinction and a spirit of innovation in the years to come. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to Dr. Licari and his wife Kirsten to Clarksville!”

The committee narrowed down a list of highly qualified candidates to three finalists – Licari, Dr. Jaime Taylor, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Marshall University; and Dannelle Whiteside, interim president of Austin Peay who previously served as the University’s vice president for legal affairs.

“On the heels of a successful process that began more than four months ago, I would like to thank my colleagues on the presidential search committee for their exceptional work during extraordinary times,” O’Malley said. “We considered over 100 talented applicants from across the country for Austin Peay's presidency. A detailed search profile was developed with broad input from all of the University's constituent groups. Thoughtful consideration was given to candidates' CV’s and letters of interest. The committee conducted first- and second-round interviews and spoke with references to learn more about our leading candidates. From that extensive due diligence emerged three finalists, all gifted in their own ways. It was evident during their campus visits and interviews that all three finalists were exceptional.”

As provost at Indiana State University, Licari oversees all academic functions of that university, as well as enrollment management and university marketing. This includes 34 academic departments housed in five colleges – Arts & Sciences, Health & Human Services, the Scott College of Business, Bayh College of Education and the College of Technology.

Licari earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a focus on public administration in 1997, a Master of Arts in Political Science, also from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in 1994, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Minnesota in 1993.

For Licari’s CV, click here. For Licari’s cover letter, click here.