A retired educator who led colleges in New York for nearly three decades was named Augusta State University’s interim president Wednesday.
Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny was selected by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby to lead ASU as Bill Bloodworth steps down to return to the classroom.
Kenny served as the president of Queens College, City University of New York, from 1985-98 and for the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1994-2009. She has also served on the board of directors at Toys R Us and Computer Associates.
Kenny said her vision is to help make ASU’s transition into consolidation with Georgia Health Sciences University as smooth as possible and to guide the committees that have been formed to prepare the merger.
“It seems to be a very interesting time with the consolidation in the future,” Kenny said. “This is a time in which I think leadership is going to be very important … I’m hopeful that my experience can be useful at this time.”
Kenny has published five books on theater and higher education, and has a specialty in 18th-century British literature.
Currently retired from a 50-year career in education, Kenny lives in McLean, Va. She will be moving to Augusta with her husband, Robert, a painter and former university dean and said she looks forward to learning about the community.
“It’s very exciting,” said Kenny, who begins work July 1. “I think it’s going to be a very exciting and important period of time for both of the current institutions.”
Huckaby on Wednesday also appointed an interim president for Gainesville State College, which is also undergoing a merger with North Georgia College and State University.