University System of Georgia names presidents for 2 colleges

Two Georgia colleges are about to get new presidents.

The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents on Wednesday selected Georj Lewis as the next president of Clayton State University and Ingrid Thompson-Sellers as president of Atlanta Metropolitan State College.

Lewis has been president of Atlanta Metro since 2019.

Thompson-Sellers is president of South Georgia State College, which is also within the University System and has campuses in Douglas and Waycross, Georgia. The University System said it soon will announce a plan to find her successor at South Georgia.

The two leaders will begin their new roles Feb. 1.

”Both Dr. Lewis and Dr. Thompson-Sellers are experienced leaders who understand the university system’s top priority is our students and their success, both on campus and in the workforce,” said Chancellor Sonny Perdue, in a written statement.

About two years ago, the Regents created committees to help conduct a national search for a new Clayton State president, a process that included getting feedback from staff, faculty, students and others. That search led to the hiring of T. Ramon Stuart, who resigned after less than a year citing health challenges.

Faculty said the University System did not conduct a similar search process this time around.

A spokeswoman for the University System said in response to questions about whether there was a search process this time around that both Perdue and the Board of Regents “are confident” that the two new chosen leaders “will be exceptional fits for the schools. She added that the chancellor also wants to provide “opportunities for growth and advancement for good leaders within the University System.”

The Regents policy states that the chancellor will consult with the board’s chair to decide whether to conduct a national search when a presidential vacancy occurs.

Lewis has spent nearly 30 years working for colleges and universities, much of it within the University System. He began by working within admissions and enrollment offices, where he coordinated minority recruitment efforts. He also led student diversity work at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and at Georgia Southern University.

He’s held leadership positions at Georgia Southern, where he earned his doctorate in educational leadership; Indiana University Northwest and the former Armstrong State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business/accounting and a master’s degree in counseling/student personnel from Edinboro University.

Kerry L. Heyward, an attorney for Georgia State University, has been serving as Clayton State’s interim leader and will return to her previous Georgia State post, according to the University System.

Thompson-Sellers has more than 30 years of experience, including serving as a senior associate dean and professor of business information systems at Georgia State.

Her academic credentials include a bachelor’s degree in physics from The University of West Indies in Jamaica, a master’s degree in telecommunications from Iona University and a doctoral degree in instructional technology from Georgia State.

Atlanta Metro enrolled 1,440 in the fall semester. Clayton State enrolled 5,857. Both schools have recently battled declining enrollment.