Dr. Philip W. Conn was born in Decatur, Alabama, in 1942.
His parents soon relocated the family to Cleveland, Tennessee, where Dr.
Conn graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1959. Dr. Conn attended
Berea College in Kentucky, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in
biology in 1963.
In 1964, Dr. Conn was named Associate Director of Appalachian Volunteers by the
Council of Southern Mountains in Kentucky. In 1965, he was a
Field Representative for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in Washington,
D.C. In 1966, Dr. Conn attended school in the Netherlands, where he received a
diploma in Social Policy from the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague.
Dr. Conn returned from the Netherlands to Berea College as Director of Alumni
Affairs and Placement Director in 1968. During this time, Dr. Conn enrolled
at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and completed the requirements
for a Master of Arts in Sociology in 1972. After receiving his master's degree, Dr. Conn
was appointed Research Specialist and, later the Executive Director of the
Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
In 1977, Dr. Conn was hired as Vice President of Research and Development
for Morehead State University in Kentucky. Later, Dr. Conn would become
Vice President for University and Regional Services at MSU. Dr. Conn attended
the University of Southern California (USC) while serving as Vice President
of MSU, and received a Masters in Public Administration in 1982. In 1985,
Dr. Conn was Vice President for University Advancement at Central Missouri
State University (CMSU) at Warrensburg, Missouri. Dr. Conn earned a Doctorate
in Public Administration from USC in 1991, while serving as a Vice President
In 1994, Dr. Conn was hired as President of Dickinson State University
(DSU) in Dickinson, North Dakota. Dr. Conn left DSU in 1998 to accepted
the Chancellorship at the University of Tennessee at Martin. After four
years with the University of Tennessee System, Dr. Conn accepted the Presidency at Western Oregon University
(WOU) in 2002. Dr. Conn retired as President of WOU in August 2005,
and John Minahan was hired
as interim president.