Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier, Savannah State University

Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier (left) is retiring as president of Savannah State University on June 30.

Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier, who has been president of Savannah State University since June 2011, is retiring on June 30.

Dozier, who is from Stone Mountain, said it has been an honor and a privilege to lead and serve as SSU’s 13th president.

“The reward is the daily satisfaction of witnessing students succeed in the classroom and become the leaders in their chosen professions and communities,” she said.   

Under her leadership, SSU acquired $22.5 million in state funding to build and open two new STEM academic buildings, and completed a $3.7 million   renovation of historic Herty Hall. She also launched the Transformation and Growth campaign, which has raised some $8 million for faculty development and student success initiatives; and launched the Closing the Gap, a scholarship fund that gives one-time assistance to seniors who need $1,500 or less to graduate.

During her tenure, SSU also reactivated its mechanical engineering technology degree and teacher education programs, now the College of Education. It also created the Online Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management and its Global Logistics and International Business major, a first in the state of Georgia.

Before taking the helm at SSU, Dozier spent 17 years at the University of Georgia (UGA), serving as associate provost and chief diversity officer for the Office of Institutional Diversity, professor in the School of Social Work and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at the Gwinnett Center. She also directed the Ghana Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program.

Steve Wrigley, SSU’s chancellor, said he was grateful for Dozier’s leadership.

“President Dozier’s commitment to students and dedicated public service is evident by her long and distinguished career in higher education,” he said. “[I’m] happy for her as she embarks on her next chapter in life.”

Wrigley named Kimberly Ballard-Washington, the University System of Georgia’s associate vice chancellor of legal affairs, to serve as interim president effective July 1. She also previously served as interim president at Fort Valley State University and Albany State University.

A national search for Dozier’s replacement will be launched at a later date.