The Georgia Board of Regents voted Tuesday to make Dr. Pamela Whitten its sole finalist for president of Kennesaw State University. Whitten has served as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Georgia since 2014. Whitten oversees instruction, research, public service and outreach, student affairs and information technology at UGA, according to a press release.
Prior to coming to Georgia, Whitten served as the director for telemedicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She then joined the faculty at Michigan State University, eventually becoming the dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. According to a bio on UGA’s website, she is an internationally recognized expert in the field of telemedicine.
“Kennesaw State already enjoys a proud and storied history, and I am excited by this opportunity to take one of the nation’s great public universities to new heights,” Whitten said in a statement.
Georgia officials launched a search for KSU’s new president in February, after Sam Olens stepped down. The former state attorney general spent a rocky 16 months as the university’s president. A university system review found he failed to inform state officials when he moved cheerleaders off the field before football games after some of them knelt during the national anthem.
During town hall-style meetings, students and faculty members urged KSU’s search committee to make the hiring process transparent.
However, the university conducted a ‘closed’ search, meaning none of the candidates names were made public during the interview process.
Ken Harmon, KSU’s former vice president for academic affairs, has been serving as interim president since Olens left office.
The Board of Regents has to wait five business days after naming a finalist before taking action. Board members will likely vote on whether Whitten should become KSU’s next president sometime after that date.