Sam Olens’ triumphs and troubles

Sam Olens, who announced Thursday he’s resigning as Kennesaw State University’s president in mid-February, has been a fixture on the metro Atlanta civic and political scene for more than two decades.

Here’s a timeline:

1995 - Olens gets involved in Cobb County zoning issues as president of the East Cobb Civic Association.

Oct. 1997 - Announces plans to run for a seat on the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

Aug. 1998 - Olens wins a seat on the board.

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Aug. 2002 - Olens is elected chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

May 2004 - Olens, co-chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission transportation committee, helps unveil a $50 billion, 25-year transportation plan for the region.

Dec. 2004 - named chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Oct. 2006 - approves a controversial plan to work closer with federal immigration officials to deport jailed illegal immigrants.

2009 - Olens considers a run for governor.

April 2009 - Olens announces he’ll run for attorney general, instead of governor.

Nov. 2010 - Olens is elected attorney general.

Aug. 2012 - Olens speaks at the Republican National Convention.

Oct. 2016 - Georgia’s Board of Regents votes to make Olens president of Kennesaw State University, despite concerns about his qualifications.

Oct. 2017 - Olens and KSU administrators criticized by some for a change that prevented a group of cheerleaders from protesting during the national anthem.

Nov. 21, 2017 - a state report ordered by the Board of Regents says Olens failed to follow its guidelines regarding student protests.

Dec. 6, 2017 - The AJC reports Olens may leave KSU.

Dec. 14, 2017 - Olens announces he’ll resign as KSU’s president on Feb. 15, 2018.

For more Sam Olens and his tenure at Kennesaw State, visit

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