Incoming KSU chief replaces 3 administrators

Kennesaw State University’s incoming interim president announced leadership changes at the school this week following recent findings that several administrators, including outgoing president Dan Papp, had violated state policies.

Houston Davis, who is set to replace Papp on July 1, announced three new interim chiefs responsible for key functions of the university. Davis announced the changes Tuesday in a letter to faculty and staff that was obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The interim leaders will work directly with Davis during the presidential transition, he said in the letter.

The University System, through a spokesman, declined to comment on the status of KSU administrators currently in positions responsible for this work, including whether they had resigned or been placed on leave. The spokesman also declined to comment on whether Papp has stepped down prior to his announced June 30 retirement date.

Davis’ appointments are:

  • Interim chief financial officer: Julie Peterson, who served as controller in the Office of Finance and Accounting
  • Interim chief information officer: Lectra Lawhorne, who previously served as associate chief information officer and associate vice president for KSU's information technology services
  • Interim chief human resources officer: Alicia Stignani, who served as director of Human Resource Services

Last week, reports by auditors from the University System of Georgia found that Papp had broken fiancial rules related to his compensation, car allowance payments and annual leave pay. Administrators in KSU's division responsible for dining and food service were found to have violated several conflicts of interest and ethics guidelines, some dating back to at least 2012.

Snellville attorney Mike Puglise, who represents four KSU employees who filed tips with the University System leading to the auditors’ findings, said he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of his clients next month. The suit, against the Board of Regents, KSU, Papp, the KSU Foundation and other KSU administrators will allege that his clients have faced harassment, defamation, isolation and other penalties at work since reporting the wrongdoing, he said.