Atlanta Metropolitan State College President McGaha Announces Plans to Retire

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC) President Gary McGaha announced he will retire June 30, a position he’s held since 2007. University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Steve Wrigley tapped Georgia Southern Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Georj Lewis as interim president effective July 1.

“My teaching and administrative activities at Atlanta Metropolitan State College have been the most rewarding and gratifying experiences of my professional career,” said McGaha.

McGaha has worked in the University System of Georgia for more than 25 years. He became president of Atlanta Metropolitan College in 2007 after serving as interim president. During his tenure at AMSC, he also served as chair of the college’s Social Sciences Division. McGaha’s career within USG also includes serving as academic dean for the Dunwoody campus and the Alpharetta site of Georgia Perimeter College, now Perimeter College at Georgia State University

“President McGaha has led Atlanta Metropolitan State College with passion and distinction,” said Wrigley. “During his tenure, he oversaw an expansion of degree programs and an increase in associate degree graduation rates. His constant presence and unwavering devotion to AMSC’s students, faculty and staff has made him a beloved figure to students, faculty and staff, alumni and within the metro Atlanta community. On behalf of the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia, I wish his family and him all the best on his well-deserved retirement. I’m also confident Dr. Lewis will provide strong and capable leadership to AMSC as interim president. I look forward to the continued success of this important Atlanta institution and its students.”

Prior to his work with USG, McGaha served as executive assistant to the president at Kentucky State University and at Morehouse School of Medicine. McGaha holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Mississippi, a master’s degree in political science from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in social science from Mississippi Valley State University.

Accomplishments during McGaha’s presidency include:

Earning approval by USG Board of Regents to offer bachelor’s degrees in 2011 and in 2012

Overseeing the institution’s name change from Atlanta Metropolitan College to Atlanta Metropolitan State College

Increasing baccalaureate degree programs offered; enrollment increased by 30 percent

Improving associate degree graduation rate to become best in its sector within USG

Enhancing the campus with the addition of the Elridge W. McMillan Academic Sciences Building, renovating the Science Lecture Building, expanding the Edwin A. Thompson Sr. Student Center and constructing a Student Services and Success Center

Improving campus infrastructure and adding new parking lots

Establishing relationships with Atlanta community stakeholders and educational, corporate, governmental, bridge programs, faith-based and private partnerships

A national search for McGaha’s replacement will be launched at a later date.