Valdosta State University president resigning July 1

Georgia’s public college system lost its second university president in two days Thursday as Valdosta State University announced its leader would be stepping down.

President William McKinney’s resignation is effective July 1.

News of his departure comes a day after the resignation of Fort Valley State University President Ivelaw Griffith, whose resignation takes effect June 30.

“Dr. McKinney developed and launched the first comprehensive capital campaign for Valdosta State University that will have a lasting impact for generations of students,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby said in a statement.

Mckinney’s announcement follows internal strife at the university earlier this year reported by area news outlets, including the student newspaper, The Spectator. According to the reports, Valdosta State’s faculty had been considering conducting a vote of no confidence against McKinney.

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Universities are ideally permanent, presidents are not, McKinney said in a letter to the Valdosta State community. “Presidents’ jobs are simply to leave our institutions better than we arrived, and I believe that I have done just that,” he said. McKinney did not provide a reason for his resignation in the letter.

Like Fort Valley, Valdosta State has seen its enrollment decline over the past few years, dropping almost 12 percent from a high of 13,089 students in 2011. The college is one of about 10 institutions in the University System that will offer in-state tuition rates to students from surrounding states in efforts to boost enrollment.

In a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, state Rep. Amy Carter, a Valdosta State alumnae, thanked McKinney, who has led the institution since July 2012, for his service.

“We have a tremendous resource in Valdosta State University, its faculty and students. I know Chancellor Huckaby and the Regents will seek out a dynamic, new leader for the university who will ensure its continued growth and success,” Carter said.

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