Clayton State University president resigns, cites health issue

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Clayton State University President T. Ramon Stuart announced his resignation after less than a year on the job, saying a recent health challenge prevents him from effectively serving in the position.

“As many of you know, I have had some unfortunate health challenges this year that resulted in the removal of my kidney,” Stuart wrote to students, faculty and employees late Wednesday. “Unfortunately, my health challenges continue to plague me, and I am unable to effectively lead the University in a manner that it deserves.”

Stuart, 43, had the surgery on Feb. 15.

“I’ve got to sit down in order to stand up,” Stuart said concerning his health in a telephone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ExploreQ & A with T. Ramon Stuart

Stuart, who became president in July, was the first Black person to serve in that position. He was previously provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fort Valley State University.

His goals at Clayton State included helping more students graduate with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. Another goal was increasing enrollment, which declined by 3% last fall to 6,820 students.

“It’s an excellent institution poised for even greater things,” he said, citing the area’s economic growth.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Kerry Heyward, attorney for Georgia State University, will serve as interim president.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue said in a statement he’s confident Heyward will help Clayton State “meet the workforce needs of its community while supporting students toward their degrees.”

“Kerry will continue this momentum as we work with the campus community to search for a new president to lead the university,” Perdue added.

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