By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times
Bobbie Knight has been named permanent president of Miles College by the school’s Board of Trustees. Knight, who had served as interim since last summer, becomes the 15th president, effective immediately.
The decision was announced during the spring board meeting on Thursday.
“I am honored that the Board of Trustees has confidence in me to take a longer and more permanent view to provide leadership to Miles College,” said Knight. “I look forward to serving the students, faculty, and staff to create a positive future for Miles College.”
Knight was named interim in August 2019 and became the first female to assume the position as president in the college’s 122-year history.
“We were blessed when Dr. Knight agreed to step in as Interim on short notice. Her strategic leadership since August 2019 has excelled our expectations,” said Bishop Teresa Jefferson – Snorton, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Miles College. “She has engaged with the students and began several initiatives to enhance their learning experience. She has also secured the College’s largest single donor gift in history.”
In January, Miles announced it had received its single largest contribution from an individual donor in school history – $1 million. The donation came from Charles Barkley, the former Auburn University and NBA basketball great and television commentator.
Before the month was over, the school announced it had received a $50,000 contribution to its football program from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and Hueytown native Jameis Winston.
Those donations drew national attention as Miles embarked on a $100 million fundraising campaign.
In the past seven months at the 1,700-student college in Fairfield near Birmingham, Knight has worked to move the campus forward through faculty development, increased student support, and fundraising.
She has created a new scholarship structure, encouraged the development of innovative academic programs, and increased the number of student internships.
Knight worked 37 years with Alabama Power, where she held several leadership positions, including vice president of Public Relations and vice president of the company’s Birmingham Division.
In 2017, Knight, who is also chair of the Board of Managers for the Birmingham Times Media Group, was elected to Miles’ board of trustees and co-chaired newly elected Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin’s transition team. In 2018, she was appointed to the Birmingham Airport Authority, where her colleagues immediately elected her chair. She also had her own consulting company and participated in a number of ongoing volunteer civic obligations.
Knight is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and the Birmingham School of Law. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive Leadership Program.
alabamaewscenter.com, miles.edu contributed to this post