by Robin Kemp

Ed. note: This story was delayed due to a technical error.

The University System of Georgia has chosen Fort Valley State University Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. T. Ramon Stuart as the finalist to succeed Dr. Timothy Hynes as president of Clayton State University.

Hynes is retiring at the end of the month.

Stuart would be Clayton State’s fifth president and its first Black president.

Stuart holds undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees from West Virginia University and a doctorate in higher education administration from Ohio University.

Stuart was chosen after a campus-based search committee, in consultation with the search firm Anthem Executive, made its final recommendations to the Regents Special Committee.

A look at minutes and e-mails that the Georgia Conference of the American Association of University Professors obtained through an Open Records Request and shared with The Clayton Crescent gives insights into the selection process:

  • Anthem sent the search committee about 20 candidates.
  • The search committee chose about 10 for video interviews “because of the pandemic.”
  • The committee chose 3-5 candidates for the Board of Regents and Chancellor to interview.

The committee, which surveyed the campus community and held forums, voted on February 17 to keep the search confidential by not bringing candidates to campus. It narrowed down the first-round pool recommended by Anthem, then interviewed those candidates via video.

More alumni than students responded to the survey.

Faculty said they want someone who will “stand up for CSU in interactions with the USG,” as well as “increase links with dual-language schools in the area” and increase support for student success, among other issues.

What they want

Students expressed a desire for more master’s-level programs, someone experienced with veterans as students and veterans’ outreach, and someone who “enhances professors’ ability to teach online.”

Staff want someone who “gives more voice to marginalized staff members, meaning those who don’t work at a computer or desk,” someone committed to more study-abroad opportunities and more support for international students, and who will bridge the gap between staff and academic program offices.

Alumni want someone “willing to disrupt the status quo” and “do the heavy lifting on inclusive excellence;” as well as increasing Clayton State’s visibility through signage, merchandise, and branding; and who has a global perspective.

The Board of Trustees wants someone to help the university bounce back from “conditions caused by the COVID pandemic,” who will continue “active community involvement like that of the previous administration” and expand connections with the business community, and who is “a great communicator” who “works with the students that we have” and “interacts with [students] on a day-to-day basis.”

Three years from now, the university wants to see Clayton State increase its profile throughout metro Atlanta, get more undergraduates to stay for graduate programs at Clayton State, and a new strategic plan.

Clayton State’s search committee included:

The Regents Special Committee included:

  • Regent Cade Joiner (chair)
  • Board Chairman Sachin Shailendra
  • Regent W. Allen Gudenrath
  • Regent Samuel D. Holmes
  • Regent C. Thomas Hopkins Jr.
  • Regent Sarah-Elizabeth Langford Reed
  • Regent T. Dallas Smith

Learn more about the history of Clayton State University.