Georgia Southwestern President Announces Retirement

| August 20, 2014

Gerogia-Southwestern-PresidentATLANTA, GA – Georgia Southwestern State University President Kendall A. Blanchard has announced his plans to retire, effective Dec. 31, 2014.

“I have enjoyed my tenure at Georgia Southwestern and will miss the University and my many friends and colleagues who have made this job so pleasant,” Blanchard said. “While I have no crystal ball that allows me to see into the future, I am confident that the University will continue to prosper under new leadership.”

Blanchard was appointed as Georgia Southwestern’s interim president in January 2007. He served in that capacity until June 13, 2007, after the Board of Regents voted to make him the University’s tenth president.

“President Blanchard came to Georgia Southwestern as the interim president, but his work so impressed the community, the university and the Board of Regents that the decision was made to name him the permanent president,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “His leadership and strengthening of the University in the ensuing years has validated that decision. On behalf of the Board of Regents and all of us in the University System, I thank President Blanchard for his service and wish him and Connie all the best in retirement.”

In 2008, Georgia Southwestern formed the South Georgia College Entry program, which brought more than 100 additional transient students to campus each year. Additionally, Blanchard formed partnerships with nearly every state two-year college and many state technical colleges, including South Georgia Technical College in Americus.

South Georgia Tech President Sparky Reeves and Blanchard created a campaign in 2008 called “Two Great Choices – One Great Community: Americus, Georgia – College Town” which has raised nearly $100,000 for higher education efforts in the community.

Among the many accomplishments under Blanchard’s tenure, two new master’s degrees were formed; the School of Business Administration earned AACSB accreditation; and international partnerships expanded to colleges in China, India, and South Korea, with the formation of a Korean branch of GSW’s Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving.

Approximately $40 million in capital funding was invested in a health and human sciences complex, a 300-bed residence hall, a new wing of the Marshall Student Center, and several building renovations.

Blanchard guided the successful transition of the Athletic Program from NAIA to NCAA Division II.

The University also hosted a successful SACS visit in Spring 2014 with anticipation of receiving official word on re-affirmation in December.

Blanchard holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree, both in anthropology, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He also earned a master of divinity degree in religion studies and anthropology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. and a bachelor’s degree in English, history and philosophy from Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, Ill.

Blanchard’s wife, Connie G. Blanchard, Ph.D., is retired with more than 35 years in higher education. They have five adult children and three grandchildren. Information regarding the search for Blanchard’s replacement will be announced at a later date.

Source: University System of Georgia

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