Georgia technical college system chief out; replaced with top Kemp aide

A key official in Gov. Brian Kemp’s office will become the new commissioner of Georgia’s technical college system, replacing its current leader who was moved to a position outside the system after two years on the job.

Greg Dozier, the state’s chief financial officer, will be the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia’s 22 schools. The current commissioner, Matt Arthur, will lead the state’s Professional Standards Commission.

The changes will take effect Jan. 1.

“We are incredibly excited to have Greg Dozier lead TCSG,” the system’s board chair, Anne Kaiser, said in a statement Monday. “As a long-time public servant, he has the right background and mindset to implement the Governor’s mission and follow TCSG’s ultimate objective: putting students first.”

The system has about 141,000 students and a current annual budget of nearly $375 million. State leaders have focused on the TCSG educating and training students to meet workforce demands in growing Georgia industries, such as health care and film, offering free tuition to study in some of these fields.

Kemp wrote several tweets late Monday praising Dozier as a “dear friend, trusted ally and strong leader” and saying Arthur has the “ideal skills” to lead the commission.

State officials declined to discuss why the changes are being made now, but some leaders indicated they hope it will result in greater cohesion between the system office and its colleges. Arthur became commissioner in January 2018.

Dozier’s goals will include continuing the TCSG’s work in that area and aligning the system with other state education organizations.

He'll also be tasked with improving the state's popular dual enrollment program, which has skyrocketed in costs in recent years. A state report last year found general fund spending in dual enrollment increased from $18.5 million in fiscal year 2014 to $78.8 million in fiscal year 2018 for tuition, fees and books.

Dozier, who has held management roles for governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, does not have leadership experience in education. TCSG leaders and state officials, though, said they have confidence that Dozier can succeed in his new role. He’s been commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections and the state’s Department of Driver Services.

“Greg Dozier has been an invaluable member of the Governor’s administration,” Kemp’s chief of staff, Tim Fleming, said in a message to agency leaders Monday. “He is a trusted adviser to all of us, and he will be sorely missed once he starts this new role in January.”