Sam Olens’ triumphs and troubles


Sam Olens, who announced Thursday he’s resigning as Kennesaw State University’s president in mid-February, has been a fixture on the metro Atlanta civic and political scene for more than two decades.

Here’s a timeline:

1995 - Olens gets involved in Cobb County zoning issues as president of the East Cobb Civic Association.

Oct. 1997 - Announces plans to run for a seat on the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

Aug. 1998 - Olens wins a seat on the board.

Aug. 2002 - Olens is elected chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners.

May 2004 - Olens, co-chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission transportation committee, helps unveil a $50 billion, 25-year transportation plan for the region.

Dec. 2004 - named chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Oct. 2006 - approves a controversial plan to work closer with federal immigration officials to deport jailed illegal immigrants.

2009 - Olens considers a run for governor.

April 2009 - Olens announces he’ll run for attorney general, instead of governor.

Nov. 2010 - Olens is elected attorney general.

Aug. 2012 - Olens speaks at the Republican National Convention.

Oct. 2016 - Georgia’s Board of Regents votes to make Olens president of Kennesaw State University, despite concerns about his qualifications.

Oct. 2017 - Olens and KSU administrators criticized by some for a change that prevented a group of cheerleaders from protesting during the national anthem.

Nov. 21, 2017 - a state report ordered by the Board of Regents says Olens failed to follow its guidelines regarding student protests.

Dec. 6, 2017 - The AJC reports Olens may leave KSU.

Dec. 14, 2017 - Olens announces he’ll resign as KSU’s president on Feb. 15, 2018.

For more Sam Olens and his tenure at Kennesaw State, visit myAJC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Schools, parents don’t want learning, or fun, snowed under
Schools, parents don’t want learning, or fun, snowed under

Clayton County Schools Superintendent Morcease Beasley took to social media Wednesday morning with a plan for his students stuck at home as metro Atlanta contended with icy roads and freezing temps: Go play in the snow. “I think it’s important that we let kids be kids,” he said. “When life, through whatever method, gives us...
Let the snow come: these districts don’t miss days
Let the snow come: these districts don’t miss days

Wednesday was a snow day, but still a school day, for many metro Atlanta students. Some school districts, such as Gwinnett and Forsyth, use online lesson plans and assignments for students to avoid missing a snow day, a practice they’ve used for a few years, to the disappointment of some students. In Gwinnett, the state’s largest school...
Emory, Georgia State, KSU canceling classes Thursday
Emory, Georgia State, KSU canceling classes Thursday

Some metro Atlanta colleges and universities are canceling classes Thursday, due to continued severe weather conditions. Georgia State, Kennesaw State University, Agnes Scott College and Georgia Gwinnett College will be closed Thursday. Emory University, including Oxford College, will also be closed, officials announced.   The closing applies...
Whether and when to close schools is tough call even for experienced districts
Whether and when to close schools is tough call even for experienced districts

There’s always griping about how the south overreacts to snow, while districts farther north soldier through bad weather. But deciding whether and when to close schools is an imprecise science even in areas accustomed to wintry weather, as shown today in Montgomery County in Maryland. Parents there were not happy...
Metro Atlanta schools announce Thursday closures as ice, cold linger
Metro Atlanta schools announce Thursday closures as ice, cold linger

Atlanta Public Schools, Gwinnett County, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, Clayton County, Marietta City Schools and Henry County Schools are among the area districts to announce they will be closed Thursday because of concerns that ice and cold temperatures will persist. Also closed Thursday are City Schools of Decatur, Fayette County Public...
More Stories