Sam Olens named president of Kennesaw State University
ATLANTA (Oct 12, 2016) — The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia today named Mr. Sam Olens president of Kennesaw State University (KSU). Olens will assume his new position on November 1, 2016. Olens joins the University System from his current role as Attorney General for the State of Georgia.
“Sam Olens’ two decades of public service and outstanding leadership qualities make him the right person to lead Kennesaw State University at the right time,” said Board of Regents Chair Kessel Stelling, Jr. “While Sam has successfully led a large workforce and managed a substantial operating budget, he also has a passion for KSU and public higher education.”
University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby said, “Sam Olens is a proven consensus builder, and he will bring this important quality to Kennesaw State’s campus to partner with faculty and staff to the benefit of students. With Sam’s background and experience, he understands how KSU and the community can best work together for the long-term good of the institution.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as president of Kennesaw State University,” said Olens. “I pledge to work in partnership with the Kennesaw State campus community to focus our efforts on advancing our academic mission. Working with students, faculty and staff, together, we will continue to make KSU a leading university.”
Olens has served as the Attorney General for the State of Georgia since first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Prior to serving as Attorney General, Olens was chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, serving from August 2002 through March 2010. He previously served as a Cobb County Commissioner from 1999 through June 2002. Olens also served as chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission from December 2004 through 2009.
Olens is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including: the 2015 Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Award, the 2013 Emory Law School Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2008 Tom Bradley Leadership Award by the National Association of Regional Councils and the 2007 “Excellence in Public Service Award” by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute. Georgia Trend magazine named him their 2016 Georgian of the Year. In 2011, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce honored Olens for his dedication to community and philanthropic service by naming their annual community service award the “Sam Olens Business Community Service Award.”
Olens earned his juris doctor from the Emory University School of Law and a bachelor’s and master’s in international affairs at American University in Washington, D.C.
He and his wife, Lisa, have two children and reside in Cobb County.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. 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.