JUNE 11, 2014 – The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has granted SPSU President Lisa A. Rossbacher the status of president emerita as she departs SPSU to become president of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., beginning in mid-July.
Dr. Rossbacher led SPSU to unprecedented heights during her 16-year tenure at the university. In recognition of her accomplishments, the regents issued a resolution noting that, during Dr. Rossbacher’s tenure at SPSU, enrollment has increased 78 percent to more than 6,500 students, on-campus housing has tripled, and 10 major construction/renovation projects totaling nearly $60 million have added new academic and support facilities to the Marietta campus.
Since Dr. Rossbacher assumed the presidency of SPSU in 1998, the university has added new bachelor’s degree programs in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, new media arts and game design along with several graduate programs, and created a School of Engineering. The resolution also notes that under Dr. Rossbacher’s leadership, SPSU has maintained the third or fourth highest SAT scores for entering freshmen in the University System and is ranked first in the United States for the number of African-American students earning bachelor’s degrees in engineering-related technologies.
Dr. Rossbacher chaired statewide initiatives in the University System to better serve Hispanic students (1998-99), to establish a coordinated enterprise risk management program (2010-13) and to develop distance education recommendations (2012-13). And in 2007, she served as the University System’s interim executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer while also fulfilling her duties as SPSU’s president.
“The Board of Regents acknowledges the commitment, accomplishments and dedication of Dr. Lisa Rossbacher…and extends its heartfelt and grateful appreciation for her exemplary work,” the regents’ resolution concludes.
“President Rossbacher’s enormous heart for the students set her apart from other university presidents,” said Willis Potts, who was SPSU’s representative on the Board of Regents during part of Dr. Rossbacher’s presidency. “She cared deeply, it showed, and she made a difference in thousands of lives as a result. Humboldt State [where Dr. Rossbacher will become president in mid-July] is getting a jewel!”