William Muse is president of the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), a non-profit nonpartisan network that, in partnership with the Kettering Foundation, publishes issue guides on major problems facing the nation and works with groups to conduct deliberative forums around the country. NIFI is based in Dayton, Ohio.
During his career in higher education, Muse served as chief executive officer of three major universities over a period of approximately twenty years. He was first selected as president of the University of Akron in 1984 and served in that post until 1992, seeing the university's enrollment expand to over 30,000 students. He also held many leadership posts in Akron, including chairman of the Akron Regional Development Board and director of National City Bank.
In early 1992, Muse was chosen as president of Auburn University, the land-grant university of Alabama. While at Auburn, he served as president of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He was also a director of Southtrust Bank, Alabama Power Company, and the American Cast Iron Pipe Company. After retiring from Auburn in 2001, Muse served as chancellor of East Carolina University, a university of 22,000 students in eastern North Carolina, before retiring on December 31, 2003.
Muse is a native of Mississippi and attended elementary and secondary schools in both Mississippi and Louisiana. He received his undergraduate education at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, earning a BS degree in accounting. He then attended graduate school at the University of Arkansas, receiving an MBA and a PhD degree in business and administration. He began his teaching career on the faculty of the School of Industrial Management at Georgia Tech, later moving to Ohio University, where he served as chairman of the Department of Marketing and as director of the Division of Research.
Over the next twelve years, Muse served as the dean of the Business School at three different universities, beginning in 1970 as the first dean of Business at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. From 1973-79, he was dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and from 1979-83, dean at Texas A&M University. At Texas A&M, the business school grew to become the fifth largest business school in the nation in terms of full-time undergraduate enrollment.
Prior to going to Akron as president, Muse served for over a year as vice-chancellor for Academic Programs for the Texas A&M University System. He has held a number of national leadership posts, including international president of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and as a member of the board of directors of the TKE Educational Foundation. In addition to currently serving as a senior associate with the Kettering Foundation, Muse is a member of the board of directors of the Sustained Dialogue Institute.
Muse and his wife, Marlene, have three children and four grandchildren. Muse resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.