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May 5, 2017

Appointment of Senior Leadership Team announced for the new Georgia Southern University

STATESBORO, Ga., May 5, 2017 — Today, Georgia Southern University President Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., announced the appointment of the senior leadership team for the new Georgia Southern University, contingent upon the Board of Regents’ approval of the new consolidated university.

“A critical task in the consolidation of Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University is the creation of a dynamic and forward-thinking leadership team who will partner with me on building the new Georgia Southern,” said Hebert.

Effective January 1, 2018, contingent upon the Board of Regents’ approval of the new, consolidated Georgia Southern University, the President’s Cabinet members are as follows:

Trip Addison, Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs
A “Double Eagle” graduate of Georgia Southern, Trip Addison joined the University administration in 2015. Before returning to his alma mater, Addison served in various state government roles, including deputy budget director and policy advisor to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Georj Lewis, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs
Georj Lewis, Ed.D., is Armstrong State University’s current Vice President for Student Affairs, having served since 2013. He previously worked at Indiana University Northwest and as dean of students at Georgia Southern for nine years.

Teresa Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Teresa Thompson, Ph.D., joined Georgia Southern University in 2000. She previously served as the director of admissions at the University, and oversaw an enrollment increase of more than 1,500 students and an SAT average increase of 70 points. Her efforts moved Georgia Southern in state ranking for entering freshmen SATs from the bottom 25 percent to the top 25 percent.

Rob Whitaker, Vice President for Finance and Operations
Robert L. Whitaker joined the Georgia Southern University administration in 2013. He brings more than 24 years of success in financial management positions and higher education positions within the University System of Georgia. In these roles, Whitaker was instrumental in providing leadership to the business and finance function and developing, constructing and managing more than $326 million in privatized housing, food service and student center functions.

A national search for Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the new Georgia Southern will be conducted. Robert T. Smith, Ph.D. will continue to serve as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Armstrong State University, and effective July 1, 2017, Diana Cone, Ph.D. will serve as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the current Georgia Georgia Southern through the consolidation process.

Appointments also include Bill Kelso, Vice President for Advancement at Armstrong State University, who has been appointed Associate Vice President for University Advancement under the Division of University Advancement and External Affairs at the new Georgia Southern.

The next steps in the shaping of the organizational structure for the new University will be the appointment of the additional direct reports to the President. The vice presidents will assist President Hebert in this selection over the next few weeks.

“These new developments are part of the ongoing progress that will lead to the stronger and better Georgia Southern University,” Hebert added.

For full bios and updates regarding the consolidation between Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University, please visit

On Jan. 11, 2017, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to consolidate Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University, ultimately creating a new Georgia Southern University with three campus locations in Savannah, Hinesville and Statesboro. CIC members, Functional Area co-chairs and Operational Working Groups uniting Armstrong and Georgia Southern faculty and staff are currently examining and working through all aspects of the consolidation.

Armstrong State University, part of the University System of Georgia, was founded in 1935. Today, the university offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate academic programs in the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and Technology, the College of Education and the College of Health Professions. Armstrong serves approximately 7,100 students at its main campus in Savannah and at a regional center in Hinesville. The university’s diverse student population comes from 43 states, the District of Columbia and 67 countries. Visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit

Last updated: 5/18/2017