North Georgia College & State University officials have named an executive director for the new campus in Cumming.
Sherman R. Day, who served as president of the university in Dahlonega from 1992-96, began his new position last week.
“I was president at North Georgia when we first went down to Forsyth County and started offering courses in the high schools, so I’ve always been interested in the county and the city there,” he said.
“So when the president [of the university] asked me if I’d be interested in the position, I swallowed hard and said yes.”
The campus, which has been dubbed University Center | GA 400, is being built on a site off Pilgrim Mill Road, near Ga. 400 at Exit 16.
The location also houses the Cumming Aquatic Center and Driver Services Center, and will eventually be home to a National Guard Armory.
The $7 million, 38,000-square-foot campus is scheduled to open to students in August, offering a range of two- and four-year undergraduate, graduate and professional development programs.
It is a joint project between North Georgia and Gainesville State College. The two institutions will officially merge in January, after a move by the Georgia Boards of Regents earlier this year.
In a news release, North Georgia President Bonita Jacobs said Day brings “vast administrative experience and knowledge” to the position.
“With our pending consolidation with Gainesville State College, University Center | GA 400 may grow more quickly than originally planned in terms of programs available, and [Day] is the perfect fit,” she said.
Day is currently working in an office on the fourth floor of Cumming City Hall, which has housed North Georgia’s master of business administration program since 2008.
He’s looking forward to moving into the new campus sometime this summer.
“I was up there this morning … and it looks like it’s proceeding on schedule,” he said Friday. “It’s going to be great for the community in Cumming and Forsyth County and the surrounding counties.”
He said he hasn’t had time to formulate any long-term goals for his new position. In the short term, he plans to get to know the community.
“Right now I’m accumulating all the documents, studies and reports that have been done over the past 10 years and I’ll be catching up on those and visiting with people in the community and on the university campuses,” he said. “I’m in the process of hiring some other people to help out.
“One of the objectives is to formulate more concrete plans.”
Day, who officially retired from North Georgia in 1999, said he has been “called back into service by the university system” twice since then to serve as acting president of Gordon State College and Bainbridge State College.
Much of his career was at Georgia State University, where he held a number of senior administrative and faculty positions, most notably as acting director from 1991-92.
He also served as the managing director of Legacy and Olympic Programs for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games from 1992-96. That work lead to the implementation of Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.
In addition, he has served as director of the National Institutes of Correction and assistant director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for the Department of Justice.
Day earned his doctorate in education from the University of Georgia in 1967.
He said he’s excited about his new position.
“I’m looking forward to working with all the folks down there and making this a real successful endeavor for everybody involved,” he said.