Georgia regents select Schwaig as Kennesaw State’s new president

It’s official: Kathy “Kat” Schwaig is president of Kennesaw State University.

Schwaig served as the university’s interim president for eight months, and the state’s Board of Regents announced her as its finalist for the top job earlier this month. The board named her president effective Wednesday.

“There is no question that Kennesaw State University has an extraordinary story and a promising future, and I’m honored the board has confidence in me to keep that story moving forward,” Schwaig said in a statement.

Schwaig joined the faculty in 2002 as an associate professor of information systems. She’s also served as the university’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

During her time as interim president, Schwaig created a steering committee for student success, established a new campus communication structure and raised money for scholarships, the university said in a news release.

ExploreMore stories about higher education in Georgia

“My highest priority has been to support faculty and staff in making KSU a student-centered university,” Schwaig said in the release. “The university’s focus on retention, engagement and academic success won’t change.”

Kennesaw State is one of the fastest-growing universities in Georgia, having increased its enrollment by 21% since 2018. Its fall enrollment was nearly 43,000 students — the third-highest in Georgia.

Schwaig is the university’s fourth president in six years. Dan Papp retired in June 2016 after a decade in the role. His successor, former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, left in February 2018. And the most recent president, Pamela Whitten, left in June to become Indiana University’s president.

ExploreFaculty group censures Georgia university system over tenure changes

Kennesaw State has a “strong advocate and leader” in Schwaig, said Teresa MacCartney, the acting chancellor of the University System of Georgia.

“As a longtime member of the KSU community, she has been a major part of its journey to become a force for student success in higher education,” MacCartney said in the release. “I congratulate her on being named president of the institution she loves.”