Meet Savannah State University’s new president

Savannah State University Interim President Kimberly Ballard-Washington is about to take on the job on a permanent basis.

Ballard-Washington has been selected sole finalist for the post, system Chancellor Steve Wrigley and Sachin Shailendra, chairman of the Board of Regents, announced Thursday.

Ballard-Washington has served as the university’s interim president since former President Cheryl Dozier retired nearly two years ago. Before that, Ballard-Washington practiced law for 20 years, serving as an advisor to the state’s public colleges and universities.

“Savannah State’s 130-year history could not be better served than with a candidate of Ms. Ballard-Washington’s leadership and determination to honor its legacy while helping students successfully complete their degrees in the 21stcentury,” Wrigley said.

“Kimberly has invaluable experience gained from working at a number of public universities across the state and understands the important role Savannah State plays as the oldest public HBCU in Georgia. She truly and deeply cares for SSU, its students and its mission.”

Ballard-Washington’s past experience includes a stint as the university system’s associate vice chancellor for legal affairs. She also served in a similar capacity at the University of Georgia.

Her experience with Georgia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities pre-dates coming to Savannah State. She served as interim president at Fort Valley State University before being tapped to lead Albany State University on an interim basis.

Ballard-Washington, a native of Montezuma, Ga., earned a bachelor’s degree from UGA. She earned a juris doctorate from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

“I have long admired and now love Savannah State University,” she said. “For almost two years, I have had the privilege of leading one of the most historic and influential institutions in our state on a temporary basis.  I am honored to now have the opportunity to continue to lead the University into the next phase of its future.”

The Board of Regents will take action on Ballard-Washington’s appointment as early as next week’s board meeting.

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