33,000 Owls hit the campus for day one



33,000 Owls hit the campus for day one

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 12, 2016) — Excerpt of Article: Kennesaw State University Interim President Houston Davis officially opened the university for the 2016-17 school year Thursday by encouraging the faculty to remain focused on the school’s 33,000 students.

With the university’s on-campus housing of about 5,200 beds full with a waiting list, Davis said the school’s enrollment might jump to almost 34,000 students.

“That’s a significant milestone,” Davis said.

Davis is embarking on his first days as interim president with students on both KSU’s Marietta and Kennesaw campuses.

Today and Saturday, KSU students will move into their on-campus housing dorms before classes begin on Monday.

Davis began his tenure this summer after former President Dan Papp retired in May. Papp’s retirement came days before an audit from the University System of Georgia was made public that showed he received about $577,500 while employed when he should have only received in retirement.

In his first address to the KSU faculty, Davis focused on the rising cost of a college education and the importance of learning outside the classroom.

“I have a great concern for the rising costs of education on students and their families and the impact that it’s making on aspirations and participation in collegiate education,” Davis said.

A Georgia resident taking 12 credit hours — about four classes — would pay more than $3,100 while a non-Georgia resident taking 12 credit hours would pay about $8,500 to attend KSU for one semester. That cost does not cover the cost of meal plans or books.

He said he is working with the university’s student government to develop plans to best serve students without charging additional fees such as technology and meal plan fees.

Davis announced this July that KSU commuter students will no longer be required to purchase meal plans by the end of fiscal 2018. The announcement came on the heels of the University System of Georgia’s final audit report examining alleged financial improprieties by KSU Auxiliary Services Vice President Randy Shelton and former dining services director Gary Coltek. The reports were referred to the state’s Attorney General’s Office’s special prosecution division in June.

“Our students cannot be viewed as revenue centers,” Davis said Thursday.

He said he will also look into other ways to reduce the cost of education.

Davis said KSU remains on track to address the audits’ recommendations in October.


Davis also praised the staff’s accomplishments and innovative spirit.

He announced two new degree programs: a Bachelor of Business Administration in entrepreneurship starting in fall 2017 and a master’s degree in engineering management. Davis said a Bachelor of Fine Arts in digital animation is pending state board approval.

Davis said KSU will continue working to increase internship, research and service learning opportunities in all departments and degree programs.

“We’re planting that flag,” he said.

For now, Davis said he did not know how long he will serve as KSU’s interim president. He said he is “just doing the best I can to serve the students of KSU.

“I am just the interim,” Davis said.


Jo Ann Chitty, chair of the Kennesaw State University Foundation, officially opened the university for the 2016-17 academic year. She said the foundation’s “new year’s resolution” is to raise more money to financially help students, faculty and staff members.

Provost Ken Harmon said KSU’s foundation is awarding about $135,000 to faculty members and $21,000 to staff members this year.

“There’s nothing like celebrating family,” Harmon said.

The trio recognized more than 30 KSU faculty and staff members during an awards ceremony.

Name of Publication:
Marietta Daily Journal

Link to Article:


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu