Interim Savannah State leader likely to get permanent job
May 06

ATLANTA (AP) _ Regents are moving to name the interim leader of Savannah State University as the permanent president.

The leaders of the University System of Georgia announced Thursday after a closed meeting that they were naming interim resident Kimberly Ballard-Washington as the sole finalist to lead the 3,500-student historically Black institution.

Regents could vote as early as their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday to appoint Ballard-Washington.

Ballard-Washington is a lawyer who has been the interim leader of Savannah State since Cheryl Dozier retired in June 2019. She was previously the associate vice chancellor for legal affairs with the University System of Georgia, and had been interim president at Georgia's two other historically Black public institutions, Fort Valley State University and Albany State University. Ballard-Washington has worked for nearly 20 years in the system.

``Kimberly has invaluable experience gained from working at a number of public universities across the state, and understands the important role Savannah State plays as the oldest public HBCU in Georgia.'' Wrigley said in a statement.

After reaching about 5,000, the university's enrollment has declined in recent years, leading to budget cuts and restructuring.

``For almost two years, I have had the privilege of leading one of the most historic and influential institutions in our state on a temporary basis,'' Ballard-Washington said. ``I am honored to now have the opportunity to continue to lead the university into the next phase of its future.''

A native of Montezuma, Ballard-Washington earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from Texas Southern University.

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2019