University of North Georgia’s president is retiring from the position she’s held since 2011.
Bonita Jacobs will step down at the end of the academic year in June 2023, she told faculty, staff and students in a memo Monday, Aug. 1.
“I am announcing my plans now to ensure the Board of Regents has ample time to select UNG’s next president and to provide for a stable transition over this next year as we celebrate North Georgia’s sesquicentennial — our 150th anniversary,” she said in the memo.
Jacobs couldn’t be reached for comment.
Serving as president “has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences of my career,” she said in the memo. “Whether it is growth in national rankings, fundraising for scholarships and university initiatives, or the achievements of our students and graduates, UNG has been on a positive trajectory for more than a decade.”
“Dr. Jacobs has done a remarkable job in the 11 years she has been president,” said Kit Dunlap, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO.
Dunlap singled out the consolidation of campuses, growth in facilities and “many national rankings” as part of Jacobs’ tenure.
The university celebrated an expansion in 2021 into space formerly occupied by Lanier Technical College.
The university also has dropped in enrollment 3.8% from fall 2019 to fall 2021, which is part of a nationwide trend. In connection with that decline, the university is bracing for a $5 million loss in state funding, which could include cutting 20-25 positions.
Jacobs said she looks forward to working with University System Chancellor Sonny Perdue and UNG leaders “over the next year to prepare for the future and welcome North Georgia’s next president.”
When appointed in 2011, Jacobs was the first woman to serve as president of UNG, which has campuses in Dahlonega, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Cumming and Watkinsville.