Savannah State President Cheryl Dozier Announces Retirement

Savannah State University President Cheryl Davenport Dozier announced today her plans to retire at the end of the academic year.

Dr. Dozier, a long-time employee of the University System of Georgia who served as SSU interim president and permanent president beginning in 2011. She is credited with increased enrollment at research funding at the university, but faced criticism in recent years from faculty and alumni for changes in the university’s athletic affiliation, enrollment declines, and public safety issues.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead and serve as the 13th president of SSU – with the outstanding faculty and staff,” said Dozier. “The reward is the daily satisfaction of witnessing students succeed in the classroom and become the leaders in their chosen professions and communities. I am grateful to all of the stakeholders who daily support the success of SSU students.”

The announcement comes just one day after Coppin State University President Maria Thompson announced her own resignation plans, and in the same week that news surfaced about SSU’s plans to offer certificate programs at nearby Georgia Southern University.

While the announcement of Dr. Dozier’s retirement was made public today, University System of Georgia officials also named Kimberly Ballard-Washington, a vice chancellor of legal affairs at the University System of Georgia (USG), as interim president effective July 1. The system will also install a transition team to oversee the new leadership, a model recently implemented in North Carolina with Elizabeth City State University and its newly appointed chancellor and former working group member Karrie Dixon.