SPSU’s Rossbacher to Serve As USG Interim Chief Academic Officer
Atlanta — June 26, 2007
University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced today that Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University, has accepted his invitation to serve as interim executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer (EVC/CAO) until the position is permanently filled this fall. Rossbacher will replace Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, who has been serving as the interim EVC/CAO since June 2006. Sethna is returning to his duties as president of the University of West Georgia, in Carrollton, Ga.
“Dr. Sethna has served the University System in an outstanding manner,” said Chancellor Davis. He cited Sethna’s leadership in shaping the improvements just made to the Regents’ Test and several high-level appointments, including naming a new vice chancellor for academic planning and programs in January and Sethna’s leadership role in the search for two presidents.
Sethna also obtained System-wide consensus on a plan for offering student health insurance during Fiscal Year 2008. “We are extremely appreciative of Dr. Sethna’s diligent work on behalf of the University System this past year, but it is time we let him return to his primary responsibilities to the students, faculty and staff of the University of West Georgia,” Davis concluded.
The EVC/CAO is responsible for meeting the academic needs of 260,000 students and approximately 10,000 University System faculty members. The position also provides leadership to the System’s comprehensive universities and to a division at the University System Office that consists of approximately 250 employees and includes academic programs and planning, faculty affairs, student affairs, international programs, teacher-education initiatives, strategic research and analysis, and information and instructional technology.
Rossbacher was named president of Southern Polytechnic in 1998. The author of several books on geology and science and a columnist for the magazine Geotimes, Rossbacher is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rossbacher chairs the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education (ARCHE), and is a board member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Rossbacher earned her Ph.D in geological and geophysical sciences at Princeton University, and she has worked for the U. S. Geological Survey, NASA, a geothermal exploration company and National Public Radio. She came to Southern Polytechnic from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.
A search committee chaired by Dr. Dorothy Leland, president of Georgia College & State University is working to select candidates to recommend to the chancellor for the EVC/CAO position. The chancellor will interview the finalists and expects to make the final selection of the next chief academic officer in late August or early September.