Columbia Southern University’s President and Co-Founder Robert Mayes began his career in the distance education industry alongside his father, Dr. Robert Mayes, with the establishment of CSU in 1993. Since then, CSU has evolved to encompass students from all 50 states and around the world. It has an active student body of approximately 30,000 students supported by more than 1,000 faculty and staff. During his tenure, Mayes has had direct experience in many areas of University operations including accounting, finance, information technology, online course development, outcomes assessment, development of policies and procedures, accreditation and more. In 2009, Mayes led the efforts to acquire Waldorf College (now known as Waldorf University) in Forest City, Iowa. Mayes holds an Associate in Applied Science from Faulkner State Community College, a Bachelor of Science from Columbia Southern University and a Master of Business Administration from Capella University. He previously served on the board of directors of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). During his eight-year tenure, his committee work included the Finance, Executive, and Nominating Committees. Mayes finished his last term as vice chairman. Mayes is a board member of the Alabama Association of Private Colleges and Schools, and serves as chairman of the board of directors for South Baldwin Christian Academy. Mayes also holds the position of CEO of Columbia Southern Education Group, the parent company of Columbia Southern University and Waldorf University. In 2017, Mayes was awarded the DEAC’s Distinguished Service Award.
Mrs. Mayes is a co-founder of Columbia Southern and serves in an executive advisory capacity at CSU. Mrs. Mayes has also been with CSU since its founding and is on the Board of Directors, following strict ethical standards and requires that all staff members do likewise. Before CSU, Minnie co-founded a safety consulting company that provided training and services to small businesses nationwide. Mrs. Mayes has much knowledge about CSU through her long tenure as a board member and numerous work and advisory experiences in all aspects of distance study for more than 20 years.
Dawn Cranston has spent over 25 years as an educator. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis on elementary and early childhood education from Indiana University. She earned her Master’s of Education degree studying Educational Leadership at Concordia University. She has two daughters, one who currently attends South Baldwin Christian Academy (SBCA) and another who graduated from SBCA in 2017. She has worked in both the public and private sectors of education.
A Mobile, AL., native, Mr. Troup joined CSU in February 2008 bringing more than 15 years of experience in the areas of accounting, information technology and supply chain management. He currently oversees the Departments of Accounting & Finance, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and Bookstore operations. Before joining CSU, Mr. Troup was the Senior Manager of Accounting for Southern Progress Corporation, a publisher of lifestyle magazines and books, where his focus was the financial operations of the book publishing and home sales business units. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Standard Furniture Mfg., Co., where he held a variety of management roles. Mr. Troup began his career as an auditor with Deloitte & Touché LLP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Alabama and is a certified public accountant. He is a past president and chairman of the board of the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo and a member of the Mobile Jaycees. Mr. Troup is also a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Alabama Society of CPAs.