Walter Kimbrough


Philander Smith College

Little Rock

Walter Kimbrough

Walter Kimbrough succeeded Trudie Kibbe Reed as president of Philander Smith College, the historically black private college in Little Rock, in December 2004.

Reed's tenure had been marked by successful fundraising for campus building projects, and Kimbrough has followed up those improvements in the physical plant with an emphasis on raising the caliber of the 120-person staff.

"We've been aggressive in trying to bring in the best talent possible to the college and, therefore, the area," he said.

And he's doing it on a limited annual budget of about $8 million.

"You don't always have to pay top dollar," he said. "But if you can find the people who want the opportunity and pay them fair wages … you can get the talent."

He also is working to raise the visibility of Philander Smith. Part of that effort has been a lecture series called "Bless the Mic" that featured such names as conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Kimbrough, 39, has degrees from the University of Georgia in Athens, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Georgia State University in Atlanta. He was previously vice president for student affairs at Albany State University at Albany, Ga.