Published on: Jun. 18, 2024
Chamber President Appointed to National Search Committee for Next SSU President

Savannah Area Chamber President & CEO Bert Brantley was appointed last week to a national search committee tasked with finding a permanent president to lead Savannah State University.

“I am honored to join this terrific group of state, regional, and local leaders as we look for the right person to maximize the incredible potential at Savannah State University,” Brantley said. “Thanks to the Board of Regents and Chancellor Sonny Perdue for launching this national search for an institution that is critically important to the future of Savannah.”

Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the first and oldest public historically Black college or university in Georgia and was the first institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah.

“Savannah State holds a distinct and critical role in educating Georgia’s students and helping the city and region thrive,” Chancellor Perdue said. “This national search is about finding a leader who can build on that work, as SSU focuses on being a premier HBCU that prepares graduates for success and prosperity in the 21st-century workforce.”

In addition to Brantley, members of the Presidential Search Committee are as follows:

• Regent Patrick Jones, committee chair
• Regent Everett Kennedy
• Regent and Board Chairman Harold Reynolds
• Regent Dallas Smith
• Katelyn Green, president SSU Student Government Association
• State Rep. Edna Jackson, member SSU Foundation; alumna
• Otis Johnson, Ph.D.; former mayor, Savannah; professor emeritus; retired dean, SSU’s College
of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
• M. Ann Levett, Ph.D.; retired superintendent, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
• Ashley May, vice chancellor of external affairs and chief of staff, USG
• Philip Omunga, Ph.D.; president, SSU Faculty Senate; associate professor, SSU’s College of
Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
• Harold Washington, president SSU National Alumni Association

“For more than 130 years, Savannah State has played a central role in this city’s higher education community, and the person selected as its next president must continue that legacy while upholding its community and industry connections,” Regent Jones said. “I am honored to chair this committee and look forward to working with the other members to find candidates who understand SSU’s historic role while ensuring it leads the system in academic engagement and student success.”

The Presidential Search Committee will guide the first stage of the search. AGB Search has been retained to provide executive search consulting services. After its work, the committee will forward the credentials of three to five unranked candidates to the Board of Regents for consideration.

The Presidential Search Committee’s initial meeting will be July 18, at which time the members will be formally charged with their roles and responsibilities in conducting the search.


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