The leader of a New York City college is one step away from becoming the next president of Fort Valley State University.
Ivelaw Griffith, provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York, has been selected as the lone finalist for the FVSU presidency, which will be vacated when President Larry Rivers steps down June 30.
The final step will be for the Board of Regents to approve Griffith as president. After a national search narrowed the pool to four finalists, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Special Regents Search Committee Chairman Larry Ellis will recommend the board select Griffith for the role, according to a news release.
The board is expected to notify faculty of that decision by mid-July, school officials told The Telegraph.
Four semifinalists -- chosen by the local Presidential Search and Screen Committee -- recently made their cases before a packed FVSU auditorium of faculty, alumni and students. As the last candidate to speak, Griffith concentrated on the importance of goals, mentioning some of his own for the university.
He plans to strengthen the universitys international programs and make students more globally aware. He will tackle the challenge of obtaining more resources, an important task during a time when universities can no longer rely on state funding, he said. But one of the biggest challenges centers around what Griffith called the three Rs: recruitment, retention and release of students.
His goal is not only to graduate more students but to encourage them to become loyal, giving alumni, he said.
When it comes to his own attributes, Griffith said he has a good track record in budgeting, accreditation and fundraising. Griffith has been provost of York College since 2007. He also was provost at Radford University in Virginia and held top positions at Florida International University.
To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.