Southern Polytechnic State University President to Step Down
Atlanta — March 26, 2014
Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher
Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) President Lisa A. Rossbacher has been named as the new president of Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. Rossbacher, who has been president of SPSU since 1998, will step down this summer.
“During President Rossbacher’s tenure the university experienced unprecedented enrollment growth. She established strong ties with business and industry, encouraged development of a diverse student body and has been at the forefront of encouraging women to pursue STEM degrees,” said Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia. “She has also proven to be a crucial partner and invaluable resource at the system level. Whether it was acting as interim executive vice chancellor for academic affairs or serving as chair of the online education task force, Dr. Rossbacher has always been ready to serve the University System. I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for her commitment and to wish her every success at Humboldt State University.”
Founded in 1948 as a two-year division of Georgia Institute of Technology, SPSU was established at the request of Georgia business and industry. It first opened its doors as the Technical Institute in Chamblee, Georgia, with 116 students, all but 10 being World War II veterans, and a staff of 12.
SPSU became accredited as a four-year college in 1970, and was one of the last technical institutes in the nation to offer the bachelor of Engineering Technology degree. After separating ties with Georgia Tech during the academic year 1979-1980, SPSU officially became the 14th senior college and the 33rd independent unit of the University System of Georgia.
During Rossbacher’s tenure SPSU enrollment increased by 78 percent and new academic programs in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, new media arts and game design were added. During the same period the diversity of the student population expanded to the point that nearly 50 percent of students were from traditionally under-represented groups.