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September 28, 2016 Hon. Hank M. Huckaby Chancellor, University System of Georgia 270 Washington Street, Ste. 7025 Atlanta, GA 30334 Re: Kennesaw State University Dear Chancellor: I write to request that I be considered for the Presidency of Kennesaw State University. Ihave long been passionate about the central role education plays in our society, especially for students who lack the privileges many others enjoy. I have personally experienced the life-changing nature of education. I lost my mother at age 5 and my father at age 12. Two years later, the uncle with whom I was living also passed away. My aunt raised me until I graduated high school. I spent summers working at a chicken processing plant, a glass manufacturing facility, along with McDonald’s and the local hospital. Part-time jobs during the academic year included a paper route and other assorted opportunities. It was education that enabled me to overcome these challenges and go on to a successful legal career with service to our state as a County Commissioner, County Chairman, and State Attorney General. Government service is increasingly relevant experience for facing the current complexities of higher education. Institutions of higher learning understand that their leaders must have greater capabilities for navigating the waters of funding (both government and private], a myriad of legal requirements, and public accountability. Hon. Hank M. Huckaby September 28, 2016 Iwould bring considerable public managerial experience to KSU ata time it really needs it. As Chairman of Cobb County, | oversaw approximately 4,200 employees and a $700,000,000 budget. Few local governments have a triple AAA credit rating and have operated as. smoothly as Cobb County. As the chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, I worked with diverse stakeholders, forging consensus around shared goals. Few of these successes were achieved without significant time, effort and collaboration. One such example is the passage of Concept 3, a long- range transit vision adopted in 2008. 1 am committed to the kind of tireless work it takes to build consensus. I would bring unique strengths to KSU: strategic relationships, deep community ties, and a deep understanding of the broader context in which KSU exists. Anyone who has worked with me knows that [am not shy about calling it like I see it. But I am also not shy about acknowledging what I don’t know, and working hard to learn. Whoever the Board appoints as the next president of KSU will face a steep learning curve, and | am committed to working hard to learn in the role, while also bringing my strengths to bear. KSU has grown exponentially over the past few years. But such massive growth in such a short time has created its own challenges, and some have become painfully clear over the past few months. The institution needs administrative accountability. To renew the core of KSU's mission, we must refocus on serving students. In my view, the next president should focus on ensuring KSU's affordability, comprehensively evaluating the budget to allocate resources more effectively, and improving graduation rates so that more KSU students can use their skills and education to better our communities. For example, regarding affordability, | applaud Dr. Davis’ swift decision to discontinue the mandatory meal plan for Hon. Hank M. Huckaby September 28, 2016 commuting students. More concerning is that the leadership culture allowed such a plan to begin with, One of my top priorities will be to keep tuition and fees as low as possible while ensuring that the faculty have the resources they need to be successful in the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service. Lalso firmly believe in working to ensure the availability of financial aid for students with financial need. KSU provides one of the greatest educational values in the nation; no student should be prevented by poverty from obtaining their education. Enhanced scholarships and initiatives that boost student graduation rates are essential. As Attorney General, | have had the honor and responsibility to serve ten million Georgians. I would humbly welcome the opportunity and honor to continue my career of service to the community that has been my home for over three decades. Thank you for considering my candidacy for the Presidency of Kennesaw State University. Thank you, s__OR 0) Samuel S. Olens