7th President

Dr. Kofi Lomotey

In October, 2001, Dr. Kofi Lomotey took office as the seventh president of Fort Valley State. Lomotey had a strong academic background. He held a bachelor’s from Oberlin College and a master’s of education from Cleveland State University. Additionally, Lomotey held a master’s and doctorate from Stanford University. Lomotey served as editor of the journal, Urban Education. He authored and co-authored several books including, The Racial Crisis in American Higher Education (1991) and Going to School: The African American Experience (1990). He was formerly on the faculty member at Louisiana State University and SUNY-Buffalo and came to FVSU from the position of senior vice president at Medgar Evers College–CUNY. He had also founded a pre-school/early elementary program for African American children in Oberlin, Ohio.

African World Studies Institute and Davison Lecture Series

Lomotey hoped to make significant revisions in the curriculum at FVSU, expanding the attention paid to Africa and the heritage of its people. The first step was the creation of the African World Studies Institute, a semi-autonomous unit of the institution which would be a center of research and teaching. The new emphasis was soon apparent in campus activities such as the African World Film Festival which was inaugurated in 2002. That same year, Alma Bass donated money to repair the historic clock tower at Founders’ Hall in 2002. In 2004, the Board of Regents granted its approval of the baccalaureate degree in African World Studies. Lomotey also developed the Davison Lecture Series, named in honor of the first principal of the Fort Valley High and Industrial School, bringing to campus such notables as Cornell West, Henry Louis Gates, and Michael Eric Dyson.

The university grew in other ways during the Lomotey administration as well. In 2003, a branch campus opened in Warner Robins, Ga. and the American Meteorological Society’s Online Weather Studies Diversity Program, WeatherNet were established. The next year, a Liberal Studies degree was added to the curriculum, and FVSU won the “Trumpet Award for Higher Education Institution of the Year”.

In 2005, President Lomotey unexpectedly resigned. He became executive vice president and provost at Fisk University. Dr. William H. Harris was appointed interim president of FVSU.