In kicking off the school year at North Georgia College & State University on Sept. 9, President David Potter announced at the faculty-staff convocation that he plans to step down from his position in May and possibly return to teaching at a later date.
“He wanted to give the University System of Georgia enough time to find a successor, to complete the search process by the end of the school year, and he said he would stay until the next person is named,” said Kate Maine, director of public relations for NGCSU.
“He’s been thinking about it for some time. He’s near retirement age and wanted to return to scholarship or a faculty position for a while.”
Potter has a background in the social sciences but hasn’t yet decided what he wants to teach, Maine said.
“The presidency of North Georgia is a wonderful job,” Potter said to faculty and staff gathered at the convocation. “I hope you will all join in this opportunity to help the committee define the kind of leadership this university needs and deserves for its next stage of development.
“In the meantime, let’s work together to sustain our momentum and meet the challenges of the year ahead.”
Potter, president of NGCSU since January 2005, guided a strategic planning process to prepare students for the job field and leadership.
Faculty and staff have taken steps to create curriculum with a stronger international focus by developing partnerships with universities around the world and adding strategic language courses, such as Arabic and Mandarin Chinese.
“Dr. Potter has been a wonderful president for North Georgia and a significant contributor to the Board of Regents’ strategic efforts for the entire university system,” said Susan Herbst, the university system’s executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer.
She pointed to his leadership of a systemwide task force to review philanthropic giving to all 35 state institutions and gave recommendations to increase private giving.
Potter received a bachelor’s degree in history from Amherst College and master’s and doctoral degrees in social science from Syracuse University.
He also served as president of Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., from 1999 to 2003 and then as the commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Herbst said a national search will be conducted for Potter’s successor. Details on the search process, which will include the campus and the local community, will be announced at a future date. The Board of Regents will make the final decision on NGCSU’s next president.