Dr. Kenneth R. Craycraft

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Dr. Kenneth R. Craycraft, executive vice president of Dallas-based Academic Partnerships, will offer the commencement address during Stephen F. Austin State University's spring graduation Saturday, May 12.

Academic Partnerships, a higher education service provider, helps state universities expand access to their programs by converting traditional degree programs to online delivery and recruiting qualified students. SFA has partnered with the company to market two unique degree programs offered through the James I. Perkins College of Education.

Craycraft joined Academic Partnerships as executive vice president and senior adviser to the CEO in July 2010, following a long and distinguished career in higher education. Most recently, he served as the chief academic officer for the Texas State University System for more than 10 years, overseeing all curriculum-related programs of the member institutions and their combined 72,000 students. He also served as the liaison between the system and various government agencies on all matters related to academic affairs, working with members of the Texas Legislature and the Texas legislative contingency in Washington, D.C.

During his tenure with the system, Craycraft also served as chancellor. His responsibilities included working closely with the Board of Regents' diversity, curriculum, strategic planning and technology committees; evaluating campus presidents; and coordinating all activities associated with presidential searches.

A graduate of Mount Enterprise High School, Craycraft earned his bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University and his master's degree from SFA. He then completed his doctoral degree at Indiana University.

Following his education, Craycraft joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University in Ohio as an assistant professor. Returning to Sam Houston State University as an associate professor, he rose to the rank of tenured professor and held several administrative positions prior to joining the Texas State University System as its first chief academic officer.

Craycraft has served as president of several professional organizations at the state and national levels and has worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education.

SFA commencement ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. at William R. Johnson Coliseum. More than 1,300 degrees will be awarded, including 1,069 bachelor's degrees, 260 master's degrees and 13 doctoral degrees. More than 300 students will graduate with honors, including 138 cum laude, 76 magna cum laude and 110 summa cum laude.