Nov. 1, 2012 – Dr. Larry Rivers has announced his plans to step down as president of Fort Valley State University (FVSU) effective June 30, 2013. Upon his departure, Rivers will have served as president of the University for just over seven years.
“President Rivers has positioned Fort Valley State University for outstanding success in the twenty-first century,” said USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “He has made major contributions to Fort Valley and it is my hope Dr. Rivers will continue to give of his experience in the University System at the conclusion of his presidency.”
When Rivers arrived at FVSU in March 2006, the University was experiencing a number of challenges, including budgetary issues, declining enrollment, aging facilities, and the loss of accreditation of the teacher training programs. There were just 1,970 students enrolled.
One of the key accomplishments of Rivers’ tenure is the reaccreditation and subsequent growth of the teacher education program, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Enrollment also has rebounded, and the University reported 3,568 students for the fall 2012 semester.
Over the past six years, Rivers has overseen the construction of needed facilities to accommodate these new students. These include a new seven-building residential complex called the Wildcat Commons, an undergraduate science classroom and laboratory building, a new student center, and an adjacent new football stadium.
Two historic buildings – Huntington and Ohio halls – have been renovated and reopened. A third building, Miller Hall, also was refurbished. An addition to theStallworth Laboratory Building is under construction, while a Family Life Center nears construction kickoff.
Rivers also reached out to the community to forge new relationships through his“Communiversity” initiative. This initiative has fostered service by University faculty, staff and students as a key means of creating these town-gown partnerships. Emblematic of this approach is a rehabilitated State University Drive that links downtown with the campus.
Prior to FVSU, Rivers taught history and served as an administrator at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee. In 2002, he became dean of the FAMU College of Arts and Sciences.
When Rivers was appointed FVSU’s president, it represented a homecoming for the 1973 graduate of the University.
“These almost seven years have offered exhilaration and challenge, but I feel that our university has been able to move forward and that the goals I set upon my arrival have been met,” said Rivers. “I owe thanks to my administrative team and to all members of the FVSU family.”
Rivers has expressed to Huckaby his interest in resuming his teaching career in his discipline of history.
Information regarding the search to replace Rivers will be made available at a future date.