President Pamela Whitten finishes up her first month at KSU

President Pamela Whitten finishes up her first month at KSU

This story has been updated since its orginal publication.

Kennesaw State President Dr. Pamela Whitten made an effort to get to know KSU and its community during the first month of the fall semester.

On Aug. 13, the first day of the fall semester, Whitten took a tour of the campus and met with different groups at KSU. Whitten said that she hoped to find out what KSU is, what it is “really good at,” what it values and what is important to the community. She said getting to know the community would help her create a “roadmap” for KSU’s future.

With the release of her new blog, Written by Whitten, the president has made an effort to stay connected with the university’s thousands of students and faculty members.

Whitten’s blog posts feature updated information about what is happening at KSU and the direction KSU is heading.

On her first blog post on the first day of the fall semester, Whitten said that she was able to meet with many of the new students during move-in and first-day festivities.

Whitten said that she would spend the first few weeks in her new position learning more about KSU, and also said she would continue to try to learn more from students and the rest of the KSU community throughout her presidency at KSU.

“I hope students feel very comfortable approaching me and feel they can be direct and candid because we want to have a really open university in terms of being transparent and clear and respectful,” Whitten said.

Whitten said that one of her main focuses coming into her position as KSU’s president is to make the university more student-centered. In an email to faculty and staff in August, she urged the KSU community to take the time to ask how they are benefitting students before starting work on a project or idea.

“We have a fantastic class of new students, and I expect they will make an impact right away,” Whitten said.

Whitten has also highlighted the expanding potential of the students and staff behind KSU’s Honors college.

“Since joining Kennesaw State last month, I have been increasingly impressed by the potential for undergraduate research, international education, and community service that the Honors College provides,” Whitten said.

She has also welcomed many programs to KSU so far, such as the Coca-Cola First Generation and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars program, and she has boasted about some of KSU’s recent successes.

“There are innovative minds at work throughout the university, whether faculty and students are finding solutions to protect bat populations through the Bioinnovation Lab; or exploring new possibilities for entrepreneurship through the Shore Entrepreneurship Center; or discovering ways of measuring white blood cells using principles of electrical engineering,” Whitten said.

In her Sept. 11 blog post, Whitten congratulated the victories of the football team and the women’s volleyball and soccer teams.

She promoted athletic support and KSU pride in her blog post by encouraging students to “create a sea of Black and Gold by dressing out each Friday” and to post their photos and videos using #blackandgold on social media “to tell everyone that they are Black and Gold — Proud and Bold!”

Whitten has also spoken at several events on campus, the first being KSU’s summer commencement ceremonies that started July 26.

Whitten also recently gave a welcome address at the Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery’s Collegiate Recovery Scholarship Breakfast where 20 students were awarded $42,320 in scholarships Friday, Sept. 14.

Whitten told the AJC that, while she has a 100-day plan, she and the administration have already started on several projects that Whitten wants to try to implement at KSU.

“The train has left the station,” Whitten said. “We are just being careful to do it collaboratively across campus.”

Whitten first visited the campus on June 8 before becoming president to hold an open forum for Whitten to tell students, faculty and staff about herself and her career and to give the community an opportunity to ask her any questions they had.

The Board of Regents named Whitten as KSU’s president during the summer semester June 12, and Whitten assumed the new position July 16 — over two months ago.

“It is going to be a great year for Kennesaw State, so let’s make it a memorable one together!” Whitten said.

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