Benedictine selects James Payne as new Provost

February 15, 2017

Economist and academic leader with more than 28 years in higher ed

Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University has chosen James E. Payne, Ph.D., as its next chief academic officer.

Payne, dean of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA, will succeed outgoing Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria J. de la Cámara, Ph.D., who last year announced her retirement.James E. Payne, Ph.D.

With more than 28 years of experience in higher education at a variety of institutions, Payne brings a wealth of experience in academic program development and assessment, strategic planning and budgeting, and accreditation.

In his most recent role as dean at Georgia College, Payne helped lead reaccreditation efforts for the college of business by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and initial accreditation of the college’s computer science program by ABET, a nonprofit that accredits applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology programs. He also helped expand the college’s fundraising efforts.

In addition to his extensive administrative experience, Payne has continued to be an active scholar, serving on several editorial boards and as a journal editor. He was a 2000 Fulbright research scholar and 2007 Fulbright senior specialist to the Institute of Economics in Zagreb, Croatia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Berea College and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University.

Payne will assume the new role at Benedictine in May and University leaders believe his experience and vision will make for a seamless transition.

“Dean Payne has the leadership experience and visionary aptitude to help not only maintain our University’s high academic standards, but also to provide guidance for setting a balanced academic infrastructure that will make Benedictine University a first-choice university,” said Benedictine University President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., M.F.A.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 9,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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