KSU President Sam Olens to step down effective Feb. 15, 2018 - CBS46 News

KSU President Sam Olens to step down effective Feb. 15, 2018

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Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens (via http://law.ga.gov Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens (via http://law.ga.gov
KENNESAW, GA (CBS46) -

According to the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens announced he will step down as president effective Feb. 15, 2018. 

University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley has named Dr. Ken Harmon as the interim president of Kennesaw State University.  

Olens had been under fire for months for his handling of the First Amendment battle and was found by a recent Board of Regents probe to have disobeyed the state’s directive in handling the crisis. 

The CBS46 BullDog reported on Olen’s rumored impending departure and even confronted Olens for comment, which he refused.

Below is a letter from Olens sent to staff and students:

December 14, 2017

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

First, let me take this opportunity to again congratulate all of the 2017 graduates whom the University has honored this week. We are proud of your accomplishments and the efforts undertaken by all of our faculty and staff to reach this milestone.

As many of you know, when I was selected as Kennesaw State University's President in October of 2016, I was a non-traditional candidate. I believe I was appointed because of my prior service as Georgia's Attorney General, my deep ties to Cobb County and my passionate belief in the importance of higher education.

Challenges to the institution were evident as I began my tenure and these trials, coupled with internal trepidations, made for a very difficult start. I have worked tirelessly to lead this institution to greater heights, with student success being my number one priority. More than most, I can relate to the challenges many of our students have to overcome to successfully attend and complete college. This personal history instilled in me a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge that has guided my actions as President.

With the help of an excellent leadership team and the arduous work of the entire KSU family, we have made great strides over the last year toward taking Kennesaw State to the next level of academic success. The University is operating more efficiently and effectively, and the relationship with the Foundation is strong. We have focused on providing need-based scholarships for our students and supportive, innovative programs to help at-risk students achieve their dreams of obtaining a college degree. We have created a new admissions model that will better serve our students and allow us to strategically plan for future growth. We have also made substantial progress in fully consolidating two campuses into a single University community.

Even with these successes, I have decided that new leadership will be required for KSU to fully realize its potential. Accordingly, I have advised the Chancellor and the Board of Regents of my intention to step down as the President of Kennesaw State University, effective on February 15, 2018.

While I view this transition as the best course of action for the University, I do so with the realization that I will miss working on behalf of the students at KSU who have the potential to do remarkable things and serve as tomorrow's leaders.

My optimism and expectations for the University are high, and I wish all success for the future to our students, faculty, and staff.

Sincerely,

Sam Olens
President

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