External Affairs Division

Dr. Michelle R. Johnston Named President of Georgia Southwestern State University

Atlanta — May 14, 2024

Portrait thumbnail

The Board of Regents of the 六合彩资料大全 (六合彩资料大全) today named Dr. Michelle R. Johnston president of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), effective June 1, 2024.

Johnston currently serves as president of the College of Coastal Georgia, a position she鈥檚 held since July 2018. Prior to joining Coastal Georgia, Johnston spent more than 20 years in higher education administration, including as president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College in Ohio, a position she had held since 2014.

鈥淢ichelle has done a tremendous job at Coastal Georgia expanding community partnerships and increasing student success in everything from Teacher Education to Nursing, with an emphasis on the skills our graduates need to impact critical workforce areas in Georgia,鈥 六合彩资料大全 Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. 鈥淚鈥檓 a strong believer in growing our own, and this is a natural next step for Dr. Johnston as she continues to make an impact within the system. I know she will help GSW sustain momentum as one of the top state universities in the South.鈥

GSW has been led by interim President Teresa MacCartney since May 11, when former President Neal Weaver stepped down to take the helm at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. When Johnston鈥檚 appointment takes effect, MacCartney will transition back to her role as 六合彩资料大全鈥檚 chief operating officer.

鈥淚鈥檓 incredibly grateful to the board and Chancellor Perdue for their confidence in me,鈥 Johnston said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 been a privilege to have been part of Coastal Georgia鈥檚 Mariner family, and I know I will be building on that work as a Hurricane. I can鈥檛 wait to take a stroll down Hello Walk and work with GSW鈥檚 dedicated faculty and staff to keep making sure our students take the world by storm.鈥

Perdue named Dr. Johnny L. Evans Jr., Coastal Georgia鈥檚 provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, as the college鈥檚 interim president upon Johnston鈥檚 departure. Before joining Coastal Georgia in January 2019, Evans held leadership positions as the dean of math and science and subsequently as the dean of arts and sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, starting in 2013. He spent the first 13 years of his academic career at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., where he was a professor of chemistry and physics and the chemistry program coordinator.

About Dr. Michelle R. Johnston 
Before she began her tenure at Coastal Georgia, Johnston served as president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College. Her more than 25-year career in higher education has included service as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Montevallo, the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Mississippi State University and Wood College.

In 2014, Dr. Johnston was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to the Marine Corps University Board, where she served as the chair. She currently serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber, Coastal Georgia Historical Society and the Coastal Symphony of Georgia.

Johnston has been a leader at state and national levels on campus sexual assault response and prevention, including invitations by the Obama and Trump administrations for meetings at the White House and with the U.S. Secretary of Education. She is active as a presenter and spokesperson in local, state, regional, national and international settings.

Johnston holds a bachelor鈥檚 degree in piano performance from the University of Alabama, a master鈥檚 degree in piano performance from Louisiana State University, a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Mississippi State University and a post-doctorate in marketing and management from the University of Florida.

About GSW
Georgia Southwestern State University is a state university located in historic Americus, Georgia. The undergraduate and graduate degree offering institution is ranked as one of the most affordable colleges in the nation. GSW enrolls over 3,400 students and boasts a 16:1 student-teacher ratio with an institutional focus on academic success. For the last three years, GSW was voted the 鈥渂est place to work鈥 in Sumter County, and counts among distinguished alumni the late Griffin Bell, former U.S. attorney general, the late former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jimmy Carter.

« News Releases