Kennesaw State Welcomes New President
Pamela Whitten begins tenure with listening tour
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 16, 2018) — Kennesaw State University officially welcomed Dr. Pamela Whitten today as its fifth president.
Whitten’s first two weeks as president will be busy with tours of the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses and meetings with members of the campus community.
In a message this morning sent to faculty, staff, and students, Whitten expressed her enthusiasm, thanked the interim president and provost for their service to the university and shared her vision for Kennesaw State as a university where “students are the center of the universe.”
“KSU has so much to be proud of, and I am excited to be a part of this vibrant and dedicated community,” shared Whitten. “This is an exciting time to be at Kennesaw State, and I encourage all of you to dream big about what we can accomplish together.”
Her day on Monday began with a tour of the Kennesaw Campus.
Accompanied by KSU’s mascot Scrappy the Owl and student ambassadors, Whitten’s tour began at the Carmichael Student Center, where she picked up her Talon Identification Card and visited the campus bookstore.
During the campus tour, she visited science and nursing labs at the College of Science and Mathematics and Prillaman Hall, home to the WellStar College of Health and Human Services, where she engaged with student and faculty researchers.
Whitten also toured the Henssler Trading Room, and the Center for Professional Sales in the Coles College of Business, as well as dropped by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Bailey Performance Center, and the Zuckerman Museum of Art.
She ended her tour with lunch at Kennesaw State’s award-winning dining hall, The Commons, where she was joined by several student leaders.
On July 23, she will tour the Marietta Campus and meet with students, faculty and staff of Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the College of Computing and Software Engineering and the College of Architecture and Construction Management.
Whitten’s first official act as president will be to preside over Kennesaw State’s summer Commencement ceremonies on July 26. Shortly thereafter, she will be tasked with forming a search committee for the University’s provost position.
Having most recently served as provost at the University of Georgia, Whitten expects to draw on her extensive experience in academe as president of Kennesaw State. As UGA’s chief academic officer, she oversaw instruction, research, public service and outreach, student affairs and information technology across 17 schools and colleges. Under her guidance, the university surged to No. 16 in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of top public universities.
Prior to joining UGA, Whitten’s career included working as director for telemedicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center before joining the faculty at Michigan State University, where she ascended through the faculty ranks before serving as dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Whitten also has experience fostering change with regard to diversity and inclusion. Upon arriving at UGA, she noticed a dearth of women in leadership positions and led an ad hoc group of faculty and staff in preparing women to take on administrative opportunities universitywide. She anticipates leading similar efforts at Kennesaw State.
Whitten holds a doctorate in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in management from Tulane University.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-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 92 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, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.