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  • Writer's pictureKayla Grant

Dr. George T. French Jr. takes rein as CAU's fifth president

President George T. French interacting with students, faculty and staff. Photo credit: Joshua Reuben McJunkins

Clark Atlanta University welcomes its new fifth president, Dr. George T. French Jr.

Dr. French was contacted by the Board of Trustees about this position. During that time, he was receiving job offers from two other universities; however, he decided to pick Clark Atlanta University because of its unique mission.

“Clark Atlanta University was more attractive to me because of our unique mission as an HBCU,” Dr. French stated.

Coming to Clark Atlanta University from Miles College, Dr. French plans to implement some of Miles College’s programs at Clark Atlanta University.

“It’s called Center of Academic Excellence designated by the Director of National Intelligence. That gave us access to all 17 intelligence agencies — DIA, CIA, FBI — all of them. I was able to get my students directly into the intelligence community because of being a Center of Academic Excellence,” Dr. French said.

“It’s a national need because we have to secure our nation. Our intelligence community has to be strong,” Dr. French stated.

Looking ahead to the future of this “premier” university, Dr. French plans to make some changes that will enhance the research capacity.

“We want to increase our research capacity, increase the number of Ph.D.s that we will reward and increase the number of faculty who are researching at the institution,” Dr. French said.

As president, Dr. French wants to meet the needs of the students by fixing the housing situation, increasing scholarship dollars for undergraduate and graduate students, promoting mental health and finding a place to have more recreational activities on campus for students.

One thing that he wants students to know about him is that they will always come first.

“I am their president. That’s number one. Students first. I love faculty members. I love staff. I love alums, but my primary goal is to meet needs of the students,” Dr. French said.

“I am approachable. No problem is too small. If they need to talk to me, that is what I am here for. I love walking up and down the promenade and having my students speak to me because I am there for them,” Dr. French said.


This article is published in the Clark Atlanta University Panther.

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