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Valdosta State President Ronald Zaccari to Retire in June 2008

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Atlanta — November 14, 2007

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President Ronald M. Zaccari
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University System of Georgia Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Susan Herbst announced today that Valdosta State University President Ronald M. Zaccari will retire June 30, 2008, completing six and half years in office.

“President Zaccari has overseen Valdosta State University during a period of growth and change and has successfully positioned the institution to meet the growing demand for higher education in South Georgia,” Herbst said. Zaccari stated his decision would permit the University System of Georgia to select a new president prior to the opening of the fall semester 2008 and initiate a more fluid transition.

“It’s time to refocus my career as a visual artist and complete several commissioned sculptures. I plan to devote more energy to creative activities, family, and travel,” Zaccari said. “The past six years have been professionally rewarding, especially working closely with the campus and local community to plan VSU’s future growth. Our regional university has a bright future, due to the strong support of the faculty, staff, students, and community leaders. I thank everyone for rallying behind the necessity of change in contemporary higher education and assisting with the development of VSU’s visionary master plan.”

Zaccari became VSU’s seventh president on January 7, 2002, and under his leadership, VSU enrollment has increased almost 14 percent – from 9,900 students in 2002 to a projected 11,279 students in fall 2007. Additionally, the university has received numerous state and national awards including five Best Practice Awards from the University System of Georgia; two Best Practice Awards from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE); and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Christa McAuliffe Award in 2004.

Zaccari is a member of the AASCU Board of Directors and served on the Commission on Public University Renewal (2005-2006), which identified the core commitments of public universities and how they might be renewed to meet current and future challenges within American higher education.

In March 2007, President Zaccari received the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation Stewardship, presented by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in recognition of his significant leadership and achievement in historic preservation as it relates to state-owned or administered properties or projects.

Herbst will initiate a national search process to identify candidates to fill the post being vacated by Zaccari. Details of that process will be announced in the coming months.

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