Alumnus named president of Harris-Stowe State University

Dr. Albert Walker

September 16, 2011

By Tim Belter ’13

Teacher education alumnus Dr. Albert Walker will take on a new role as president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri, after serving more than nine years as president of Bluefield State College in West Virginia.

After graduating from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., in 1967, Dr. Walker received master’s degrees in Education Administration, Community College and Secondary Education, all from Bradley University, and a Doctorate of Education from Indiana University.

“Bradley gave me the education that allowed me to be competitive,” Dr. Walker said. “Any person that goes to Bradley will be able to compete locally and nationally.”

The late Dr. Merle Kauffman, a faculty member in the Department of Teacher Education, played a particularly important role in Dr. Walker’s education, encouraging him to pursue a career as a school administrator and helping him obtain a grant at Indiana State University.

“He was the inspiration for me at Bradley,” said Dr. Walker. “He was a very special person.”

Dr. Walker began his teaching career as a social studies teacher at Irving Primary School in Peoria, but quickly advanced to a number of administrative positions. As principal at Blaine-Sumner Middle School, he was one of the youngest principals in Peoria Public Schools’ history.

After his stint at Peoria Public Schools, Dr. Walker took on a series of administrative and professorial roles at Kentucky State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Elizabeth City State University and Lincoln University. He has also served as assistant commissioner of education for the state of Missouri and as president of the North-Central Higher Learning Association.

His nine-year tenure as president of Bluefield State College comes to a close as the college prepares to become Bluefield State University in December, thanks to Dr. Walker’s leadership. All of Bluefield’s programs have national accreditation, and Dr. Walker has grown the amount of faculty with terminal degrees, such as doctorates, to 75 percent. He resigned in order to take on new challenges.

“I’ve accomplished all of the goals I had here,” he said.

Dr. Walker has a history with Harris-Stowe State University. He previously served as the school’s vice president of academic affairs. As president, he plans to continue the school’s building program and introduce graduate programs.

“I think that will be a major plus for both the state and the region,” he said.