Sam Olens named Kennesaw State University president

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Credit: Hyosub Shin

The state Board of Regents voted Wednesday to make Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens the next president of Kennesaw State University.

The appointment comes four months after Dan Papp resigned in June after an audit concluded he he already had received more than $577,000 in retirement pay from the university’s foundation without notifying the state’s University System.

Supporters say Olens’ deep Cobb County roots make him an ideal president for KSU. He’s a former county commissioner and two-term commission chairman. His detractors complained the selection process wasn’t inclusive and have concerns about his ability to represent the interest of all students, particularly those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

More than two dozen KSU students and faculty came to Wednesday's meeting to voice their displeasure with the vote. Several students interrupted the board at the beginning of the meeting and chanted "we must love each other and protect each other" before exiting the meeting.