University System of Georgia

The central communications/public information operation for the USG

Georgia State University President Carl Patton to Retire in June 2008

Atlanta — November 8, 2007

President Carl V. Patton thumbnail
President Carl V. Patton

University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced today that Georgia State University President Carl V. Patton will retire from his position on June 30, 2008.

“Over the past 16 years, Dr. Patton has transformed Georgia State and much of downtown Atlanta,” said Davis. “His clear vision of how a vibrant university should be a contributing member of the community has created an outstanding academic experience for students and has revitalized the central city. His vision and his energy will be missed.”

Immediately following the chancellor’s announcement, President Patton announced his retirement plans to the Georgia State community.

“While I will miss playing a role in guiding Georgia State’s growth, the institution is well positioned for continued excellence, and the System will be able to attract extremely strong candidates for the presidency,” said Patton. “There is a great leadership team in place at Georgia State, our enrollment growth is robust, our budgets are balanced, we have both strategic academic and physical master plans that are being successfully implemented, and we are ready to launch our next comprehensive campaign.”

Now in the 16th year of his presidency, Patton arrived at Georgia State in July 1992 from his position as vice president for academic affairs at the University of Toledo.

With his expertise as an academic leader and urban planner, he has maintained that Georgia State should “be a part of the downtown community, not apart from it.” With that in mind, Patton launched a university-wide planning effort that produced the Main Street Master Plan. This strategy has resulted in the addition of 14 new or renovated facilities for the university. The master plan was updated in 2006, and plans are underway for $1 billion worth of new facilities for the campus.

Since the beginning of Patton’s presidency, Georgia State has seen tremendous change in a variety of areas. As academic standards for admission to the university continue to increase, so does enrollment. Currently there are 50,000 students seeking degrees, and Georgia State’s most recent freshman class recorded the highest SAT and freshmen index scores and grade point averages in the university’s history.

Patton also has overseen the acceleration of Georgia State’s reputation as one of the nation’s largest urban research institutions in the country. The university has now achieved the highest rating possible from the Carnegie Foundation as a “research intensive university.”

Another hallmark of the Patton presidency is his leadership in establishing the university’s first comprehensive capital campaign. The “Results” campaign raised over $127 million for academic programs, professorships and endowed chairs, scholarships and facilities. He also began the university’s annual faculty-staff campaign.

In support of Georgia State’s fundraising activities, Patton and his wife Gretchen have been among the university’s biggest supporters making personal contributions totaling more than $275,000 during his presidency.

Another significant change for Georgia State has been Patton’s leadership in moving the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program into a new conference. In 2005, after a 20-year association with the Atlantic Sun Conference, Georgia State joined the Colonial Athletic Association. This change offers Georgia State athletic teams the opportunity to compete with other institutions that are similar in size and scope, and provides increased exposure in many of the nation’s top media markets, including, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond and Washington, D.C.

Prior to his vice presidency at Toledo, Patton held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin.

He received a Ph.D. and masters’ degrees in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley, masters’ degrees in urban planning and public administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in community planning from the University of Cincinnati.

The Pattons have two children and three grandchildren.

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

« News Releases