Alumna appointed president of Kennesaw State University

Freeman School alumna Pamela Whitten (BSM ’85) has been appointed president of Kennesaw State University, the third-largest university in Georgia and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. She will begin her new position on July 16.

Whitten currently serves as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia, a position she has held since 2014.

Pamela Whitten
Pamela Whitten

“Over the last 20 years, Dr. Whitten has distinguished herself as an outstanding scholar, educator and administrator,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “I look forward to seeing the great things she will undoubtedly accomplish in her new role as president of Kennesaw State University.”

As the University of Georgia’s chief academic officer, Whitten oversees instruction, research, public service and outreach, student affairs and information technology — a portfolio that includes 17 schools and colleges with 37,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. During her tenure, the University of Georgia hired 56 new faculty to reduce class sizes for undergraduates, increased external research support 37 percent, added 30 endowed chairs and professorships, and increased summer enrollment by 25 percent. The campus also launched a new learning requirement to give undergraduates out-of-classroom experience through internships, research and other forms of experiential learning. In the past three years, the University of Georgia jumped from No. 21 to No. 16 in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of top public universities in the country.

Prior to joining the University of Georgia, Whitten served on the faculty of Michigan State University, ultimately becoming dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Prior to that, she served as director for telemedicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Whitten is an internationally recognized expert in the field of telemedicine — the remote delivery of health care services and information — and has conducted research with nearly $30 million in funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has co-authored two books and published more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters.

Whitten holds a PhD in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor of science in management from Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business. Among other organizations, she sits on the boards of the UGA Athletics Association, UGA Foundation, Georgia Museum of Art and Georgia Humanities.