On Oct. 19, Ronald A. Johnson, president of Clark Atlanta University, announced that he is resigning from this position, effective Dec 7.

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you today of my intentions to step down as President of Clark Atlanta,” said Dr. Johnson in a prepared statement. “I make this decision for personal reasons and I advised our Board of Trustees of my intentions today.

“While I am reluctant to leave this great University and its incredible students, faculty and staff, I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished together during this period of institutional transformation,” Johnson continued.

The statement also goes into detail concerning some of the more significant changes that Johnson has implemented in his three years at Clark Atlanta, including the reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; improved enrollment, retention and graduation rates and overall improvements to the university’s athletics program.

The sudden resignation came as a surprise to the members of the alumni and student body.

CAU alumna TaShan Parks Twyman voiced concerns about the university’s ability to replace Johnson, particularly after such a fulfilling first three years.

“I’m surprised. He’s made an amazing amount of changes at this great institution in such a short period of time,” Twyman said. “He’s going to be very difficult to replace.”

According to the CAU website, a national search for a new president will begin immediately.

Executive Vice President Lucille H. Maugé has been named the chief operating officer and will serve as acting president until the election of a new president by the board of trustees.

Ronald A. Johnson on Oct. 19 announced in a board of trustees meeting his plans to step down as president of Clark Atlanta University effective Dec. 7. (Byron E. Small / Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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