The University System of Georgia plans to continue paying Kennesaw State President Sam Olens through June, according to reporting by CBS 46.
CBS first reported on Jan. 4 that the state plans to pay Olens through his one year contract — four months after he plans to resign. Olens’ contract promised him over $430,000 for the year, including salary and benefits, meaning he could still be paid almost $150,000 after he resigns on Feb. 15.
In a Jan. 11 article, CBS wrote that the USG has not commented on why they will continue to pay Olens. USG Chancellor Dr. Steve Wrigley said they simply have a compensation agreement.
Meanwhile, the Board of Regents is still working on putting together a presidential search committee to start a national search for KSU’s new president.
KSU faculty and staff have also spoken out about Olens’ resignation since he announced it in a letter last month — especially those that protested his appointment in October 2016.
“When the resignation was announced, many of the faculty and staff met the news with sheer exultation,” Dr. Susan Rains, professor of conflict management, said. “There was dancing in the halls and a flurry of congratulatory texts and emails between those who had fought hard against his appointment.”
Many also look forward to the search for the new president and hope that students and faculty will be included in the selection of KSU’s next president.
“It should be obvious to anyone who has been following this story how wrong-headed the decision was to exclude the KSU community from participating in the selection of Olens,” English professor Dr. Anne Richards said.
After Olens announced that he will be stepping down as president, Wrigley named current Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ken Harmon as the interim president.
As Harmon prepared for his new position, he informed students, faculty and staff in an email on Jan. 10 that former KSU administrator Linda Noble will take on a part-time role in the Office of Academic Affairs. Noble also plans to take on the role of interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs after Olens’s resignation.
According to Harmon’s email, Noble has worked at KSU for 22 years, taking on many positions at the university including dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and associate director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
He also mentioned that this is not the first time Noble has served as interim provost in the USG. She also worked as interim provost for four months at Fort Valley State University in 2013.
Matthew Tikhonovsky contributed to this story.