Tony Atwater

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Tony Atwater
President of
Norfolk State University
In office
Preceded by Carolyn Meyers
President of
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
In office
Personal details
Alma mater Virginia Western Community College
Hampton University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tony K. Atwater, Ph.D., is the former president of Norfolk State University.


Atwater holds a 1972 A.S.S. in television and radio production from Virginia Western Community College. He was graduated from Hampton University with a BA, magna cum laude in 1973. Entering graduate school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University he was awarded an MA in education in 1979. He then earned a Ph.D. in communication research from Michigan State University in 1983. His dissertation was titled: A Market Analysis of Content Diversity in Local Television News. He completed postdoctoral study in the Department of Communication at the University of Michigan in 1989.


During his career he has served as the Dean of Professional Studies at Northern Kentucky University; held the Chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Media at Rutgers University; and was Provost at Youngstown State University.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania[edit]

Dr. Atwater served as president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the largest member university of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, from 2005 to 2010. During his tenure at IUP, he attempted to change the institution's "party-school" image. The university also continued an ambitious residential hall construction project under Atwater's leadership.

In December 2009, 84% of voting faculty members chose "no confidence" in Atwater as president.[1] The vote was based on 31 specific complaints identified by the faculty union, including questionable use of university funds, poor leadership style and poor decision-making. The vote of "no confidence" also included allegations of an "imperialistic leadership style." [2]

Atwater resigned as president of IUP on June 30, 2010, to serve as a Senior Fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.[3]

Since his departure as president, Atwater has continued to be the subject of news reports probing his spending practices at IUP.[2]

Norfolk State University[edit]

Atwater was announced as the Norfolk State's new president on April 22, 2011, by the NSU Board of Visitors.[4] He officially became president of Norfolk State on July 1, 2011.

On August 23, 2013, Atwater was fired by the board of Norfolk State University.[5]


  1. ^ Schackner, Bill. "IUP's Atwater draws faculty rebuke". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Pierce, Paul. "Ex-IUP leader raked in perks". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "President Atwater Moving On to Leadership Role with AASCU". IUP Office of Media Relations. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Norfolk State University". Norfolk State University web site. Norfolk State University. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Watson, Denise M. (24 August 2013). "Norfolk State board fires President Tony Atwater". The Virginian Pilot. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 

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