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APSU Board of Trustees approves Graduate Certificates, honors University supporters



Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – During its June meeting, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) Board of Trustees approved six new graduate certificates, which will be offered through the APSU College of Graduate Studies this fall.

Earlier this year, the University began offering graduate education programs, providing working professionals with the training and credentials they need to enhance and elevate their careers.

Austin Peay State University board members Valencia May, Mike O’Malley and Katherine Cannata smile during a previous Board of Trustees meeting. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University board members Valencia May, Mike O’Malley and Katherine Cannata smile during a previous Board of Trustees meeting. (APSU)

The new executive certificate programs are:

  • Academic Advising. This graduate certificate will allow individuals currently working in universities or colleges to become educated in the theory and practice of academic advising and compete for the increasing number of advising-related positions.
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation. This nine-hour program is designed to equip leaders of diverse organizations to more effectively facilitate conflict resolution and negotiation. 
  • Data Mining. This 12-hour graduate certificate program will provide a background in data mining and the advanced processing of large data sets.
  • Grant Writing. This certificate is designed to help students build their skills and credentials in grant writing and administration.
  • Leading Organizational Change. This graduate certificate is designed to equip leaders of organizations to deal with changing, perhaps volatile, internal and external environments. 
  • Music Performance. This program is designed for post-baccalaureate music students who wish to concentrate primarily on their performance skills as they prepare for entry into master’s programs, competitions, auditions or performing positions without being enrolled in a degree program.

Five APSU supporters also were recognized during the board meeting for their dedication and service to the University. Earlier this year, the APSU Board of Trustees voted to create three new awards—the APSU Philanthropist of the Year Award, the Govs Who Lead Through Military Service Award and the Govs Who Lead Through Service Award. During its June meeting, the board named the inaugural recipients of these awards.

Doug (’79) and Linda Downey were named the APSU Philanthropist of the Year recipients. The Downeys recently gave a transformational gift to the University’s baseball program, and they supported the athletics department’s newly created Victory Fund. In April, the couple contributed the lead gift to that department during the University’s annual #GovsGive Campaign. 

Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey (’77), the former Deputy Commandant for Plans, Polices and Operations for the U.S. Marine Corps, was named this year’s Govs Who Lead Through Military Service Award recipient. During his impressive career, Bailey oversaw the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, served as deputy commanding general of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force, served as director of the Expeditionary Warfare School and was assigned as the Commandant of the Marine Corps National Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The board also named James and Mark (’87) Holleman as the Govs Who Lead Through Service Award winners. James served as president and chairman of the APSU foundation’s executive committee, and he helped form the investment committee to oversee the growth of the foundation and University endowments. He has served continuously on the foundation since it began in the mid-1980s. He and his late wife, Christa, established the James G. and Christa Holleman Endowment in the College of Business, and he is a member of the APSU Legacy Planned Giving Society.

His son, Mark, is also a long-standing member of the foundation. He and his wife, Ricki, are members of the APSU Tower Club and supporters of two of the University’s most significant campaigns—the Stadium Improvement Project and the Mabry Concert Hall Celebration. Since serving on the APSU Foundation, Mark has advanced from president to chairman. Mark recently sold the family home place on Home Avenue to APSU to support the University’s need for continual expansion.

All five individuals will receive their awards at a later date.

The board also approved a 2.87 percent tuition increase and a 3.53 percent increase in mandatory fees for the 2018-19 academic year. In November, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) recommended a 3 percent increase for tuition and fees for the state’s public higher education institutions. Austin Peay’s total increase in tuition and fees does not exceed the 3 percent recommendation from THEC.

Information about the June meeting is available online at




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