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Article Posted September 29, 2011

Augusta State University President William Bloodworth Announces Retirement
Dr. William Bloodworth

Augusta State University President William Bloodworth Announces Retirement

At the annual Fall Convocation that kicked off fall semester at Augusta State University, President William A. Bloodworth, Jr., announced that he will transition out of his 18-year presidency, with his final day being June 30, 2012.

“Making the decision to give up my job as president has been very difficult for me,” he said. “But there’s a time for everything—and now is the right time for this decision.”

He said that the decision was his alone and based primarily on his desire to return to full-time teaching and scholarship. In June he notified then-Chancellor Erroll Davis of his desire to step down as president and later discussed it with Hank Huckaby, who became chancellor in July.

It was agreed that Dr. Bloodworth would spend the six months following his presidency completing a history of his time at ASU, and during this time he will be available to the new president to facilitate a seamless transition. “I’ll be making myself as helpful to the new president as the new president wishes me to be helpful,” he said, “or as much out of the new president’s way as the new president wishes me to be out of the way.”

He will then begin full-time responsibilities as a professor of English and American Studies, beginning in January 2013.

Dr. Bloodworth’s teaching career spans 47 years, beginning as a public school teacher in Boerne and Port Neches, Texas, and continuing through a higher education career at East Carolina University and Central Missouri State University. He was serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Central Missouri when he was named the eighth president at then - Augusta College. He assumed the presidency on October 1, 1993.

“Dr. Bloodworth is one of the longest-serving presidents in the University System of Georgia (USG). During his almost 18 years leading Augusta State University, he has worked to engineer the transformation of ASU to a vibrant university, serving not only the region, but also the state,” said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby.

During Dr. Bloodworth’s tenure, he spearheaded over $103 million in new construction and renovations that have enhanced the learning environment for ASU students. A new Science Hall, two classroom replacement buildings (Allgood and University Halls), a new student activities center, new golf practice facilities and golf house, a golf pavilion, an amphitheatre, a museum, History Walk, a new art gallery and studios, and other renovations produced state of the art facilities for student study, research, and activities while transforming the appearance of campus.

Augusta State also moved from a commuter, non-residential campus to one offering student housing. Currently, a marketing study is underway to determine the extent to which additional housing is needed. Expanded housing will complement a new $27 million academic building that is now in the design stage and a new student wellness and recreation center at ASU West.

Dr. Bloodworth has overseen the transition from a college to a state university, the development of new programs, new program accreditations, and an entry into online class offerings, while keeping the needs and opportunities of ASU’s students, challenges, and mission in mind. His focus on student success and access underscores a new strategic planning effort that will guide campus development through 2015.

“His steady hand and forward-thinking leadership has benefitted thousands of students. We appreciate his leadership and his stewardship,” said Chancellor Huckaby.

Dr. Bloodworth’s leadership extends to fundraising where he has been instrumental in developing community partnerships and relationships, said Helen Hendee, vice president for development and alumni relations. “We launched our first annual A Day campaign with him at the helm, literally, with him taking off in a hot air balloon. And ever since, he has played a vital role in the success of that annual fund drive and in other development activities that have benefitted the university.”

He is in his second year of serving as the national president of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society. He also is active in the university’s chapter of the organization.

Earlier this year, he was recognized by Leadership Augusta with a Community Leadership Award for his work to improve the community. He serves or has served on a number of area boards including the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corp., the American Red Cross, Historic Augusta, the Greater Augusta Arts Council, CSRA Development Companies, and the CSRA Regional Education Service Agency

Dr. Bloodworth is a member of Augusta Tomorrow and the Rotary Club of Augusta. In 1998, he was named a Brevet Colonel and honorary member of the Signal Corps Regiment at Fort Gordon.

He is the author of two books, Upton Sinclair (1997) and Max Brand (1993) and of many articles. In 2003, he appeared on national television as Upton Sinclair’s biographer when The Learning Channel featured Sinclair’s The Jungle in its “Great Books” series. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and Education from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas, a master’s degree in English from Lamar University in Beaumont, and a doctoral degree in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2009, he was named a distinguished alumnus of Texas Lutheran University.

Dr. Bloodworth is a frequent speaker on higher education issues, and his personal experience as a first generation college student seeps into his role as a president and as a teacher. “There is no greater joy than knowing you have played a role in changing lives,” he has said. “That’s the power of education.”

He ended his remarks in much the same way that he has ended nearly every speech at Augusta State: “Go Jags.”

Information regarding the search for Bloodworth’s replacement will be announced at a later date.

Posted by Sonja Roberts
Published in: Board of Regents, Presidents

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