South Georgia State College President Dr. Virginia Carson has announced that she will retire effective June 30, 2016.
“I am proud of the opportunities created for current and future South Georgia State College students during my time and have them in my heart. It has been a signal honor to be a part of the traditions of this important institution and to strengthen it for the future,” said Dr. Carson.
Carson was appointed interim president of the former South Georgia College in March 2008 and named permanent president in April 2009. She became president of South Georgia State College with the consolidation of South Georgia College and Waycross College in January 2013.
“President Carson has been an instrumental leader for South Georgia State College,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “Her steady leadership through such tremendous change has been critical to the successful consolidation and shaping of South Georgia State College. On behalf of the Board of Regents and all of us in the University System, I thank President Carson for her service and wish her and her family the very best in the new chapter ahead.”
Carson successfully led the consolidation of South Georgia College and Waycross College into South Georgia State College and has seen it through a long-term strategy to foster student achievement.
During her tenure, South Georgia was approved by the Board of Regents to become a “state college” and offer bachelor degrees. The first cohort of bachelor of science in nursing students graduated in 2014. The first cohort of bachelor of science in biological sciences will graduate this year.
In one of many developments in support of students, the Peterson Scholars program on the Douglas Campus and the Dye Scholars program on the Waycross Campus for outstanding new freshmen was established. Also, South Georgia established partnerships with the Okefenokee Swamp Park, the Satilla Riverkeeper and other organizations to support student learning.
Since 2012, South Georgia has had three successful accreditation site visits from the SACSCOC for the level change from two-year to four-year college, consolidation and decennial accreditation as a new institution. In June 2016, SACSCOC Board of Trustees will vote on decennial accreditation for South Georgia State College as a new institution.
The campuses have also seen change through the renovation and preservation of several historic buildings and construction of new housing.
Carson holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, and a M.Ed. and Ph.D., all in mathematics education, from Georgia State University.
Information regarding the search for Carson’s replacement will be announced at a later date.