Adam Herbert

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Adam Herbert
Adam Herbert.jpg
President of Indiana University
In office
Chancellor of the State University System of Florida
In office
Personal details
Born (1943-12-01) December 1, 1943 (age 70)
Muskogee, Oklahoma
Alma mater USC
University of Pittsburgh
Profession Academic Administrator

Adam William Herbert, Jr. (born December 1, 1943)[1] is an American retired academic administrator. He served as President of the University of North Florida from 1989–1998, as Chancellor of the State University System of Florida from 1998–2001, and as President of Indiana University from 2003–2007. He was the first African-American to hold the latter two positions. He announced his retirement from Indiana University in 2007, and was succeeded by Michael McRobbie.[2]

Early Years[edit]

Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, he and his sister Tamashia Buckner were raised by their mother Addie Hibler Herbert a divorcee. Herbert attended Manual Training High School. Herbert's mother was a teacher and librarian and a strong influence on him. He has called her his personal hero.[3] Herbert earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science (1966) and a Master of Public Administration (1968) from the University of Southern California. He earned his Ph.D. in urban affairs and public administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971. [1][4]

Academic career[edit]

Herbert's academic career started at University of Southern California as a faculty member in the School of Public Administration and the Center for Urban Affairs. In 1972 he became the chair of urban affairs program and associate professor of urban affairs at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).[1] Herbert also held academic appointments in political science and public administration at the University of North Florida; Florida International University, where he was dean of the School of Public Affairs and Services and vice president for academic affairs; the University of Southern California; Howard University; and the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and has served two terms as a member of its board of trustees. His research focuses on the politics of higher education and on the policy, political and administrative challenges of enhancing public education from pre-kindergarten through higher education, with particular emphasis on issues that impact low income and minority communities.

In 1974, he became one of 15 White House Fellows in the Ford Administration. He served as special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.[1] Following the fellowship year he served as special assistant to the U.S. Undersecretary of Housing and Urban Development and subsequently as director of research for the Joint Center for Political Studies in Washington, DC.

Herbert served as president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. He is a member of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and chaired the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division II Presidents Council. He was chair of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce in 1993. He has served as a Florida Commissioner on the Education Commission of States and is a member of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.

Leadership in Florida[edit]

Herbert served as Regents Professor at the University of North Florida and founding executive director of the influential Florida Center for Public Policy and Leadership. He served as president of the university from 1989-1998. From 1998 to 2000, Herbert was the sixth chancellor of the State University System of Florida, the second-largest university system in America. Although Herbert's tenure in this position was highly received, outsiders argued that Florida's higher education is top heavy and does not value faculty governance. His later critics would argue this became apparent during his leadership of Indiana University.

In 1998, Governor-Elect Jeb Bush named Adam Herbert to lead his transition team. That same year John Lombardi, then the president of the University of Florida, referred to Herbert as an "Oreo": black on the outside and white on the inside. Herbert was criticized for failing to fight to save the Board of Regents in 2000 when Gov. Bush and Republican lawmakers dismantled the board after it refused to approve a medical school at Florida State University.[5] With no palatable job left after the university system was disassembled, he landed a newly created $240,000 job at the University of North Florida.[6] In 2002 Herbert served as co-chair of Governor Bush's Reading Priority Transition Team for Florida.

Leadership at Indiana University[edit]

On June 6, 2003 Herbert was selected to be IU's 17th president, his term began on August 1, 2003.[7] Upon assuming leadership of Indiana University, one of Herbert's biggest initiatives focused on "mission differentiation" for IU's eight campuses, which included making the flagship Bloomington campus more selective. Under the proposal Indiana University Bloomington would have educated the professionals, executives and researchers while the regional campuses would be tasked with educating the labor force. Advocates believed it would rejuvenate Indiana's economy while critics argued it betrayed the university's mission of educating more of Indiana's populace.[8]

Herbert's initiative was further complicated by his failure to fill top administrative posts. After Chancellor Sharon Brehm resigned, Herbert left the position unfilled for over two years. He disregarded the search committee's recommendations and began the search anew. These problems prompted controversy among faculty members.[9] Ongoing obligations as director of two out-of-state companies required Herbert to spend time away from IU responsibilities. After a faculty vote of no confidence, Herbert was forced out.

Post IU post[edit]

Herbert served on the transition team of Mayor-elect of Jacksonville Alvin Brown.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Herbert, Adam (07/06/2003). "Behind the Man". Indiana Daily Student 136. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Hunt, Elizabeth (September–October 2003). "A Warming Trend". Indiana Alumni Magazine: 38–43. 
  4. ^ "IU Past Presidents". Indiana University. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "Herbert resigns as chancellor of the State University System". Tampa Tribune. January 6, 2001. Archived from the original on January 24, 2001. 
  7. ^ Johnson, Holly (07/06/2003). "New President Named". Indiana Daily Student. 
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Myles Brand
President of
Indiana University

2003 – 2007
Succeeded by
Michael McRobbie
Preceded by
Charles B. Reed
6th Chancellor of the
State University System of Florida

1998 – 2001
Succeeded by
Judy Hample
Preceded by
Roy E. McTarnaghan
President of University of North Florida
Succeeded by
E. K. Fretwell (interim)