By Curt Yeomans
Clayton State University will be looking for a new provost and vice president of academic affairs, a university spokesman announced Wednesday.
Sharon Hoffman, who has been with the Morrow-based university since 2002, is stepping down from the position immediately, university Spokesman John Shiffert said.
"She is accepting another position somewhere later this month, but I do not know when, or where," Shiffert said.
He said he believed Wednesday was Hoffman's last day at Clayton State. Associate Provost Tom Eaves will serve as acting provost and vice president of academic affairs until Interim President Thomas Hynes names someone later this month to fill the position on an interim basis, Shiffert said.
Hoffman could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
In a written statement from the university, Hynes praised Hoffman for her seven years of service at Clayton State, during which time the university started a graduate studies program that now includes seven degrees.
The university's newest master's degree program, in archival studies, is the second of its kind in the nation, Solvieg De Sutter, director of education for the Chicago-based Society of American Archivists, told the Clayton News Daily last month.
As Clayton State's top academic official, Hoffman also oversaw the university's efforts to expand its reach across the Southern Crescent, according to the university's statement. That effort has led to the establishment of Clayton State-Fayette, in Peachtree City, and partnerships with Henry County schools, Griffin Technical College and Gordon College.
Last month, the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents approved the establishment of a satellite site in Rockdale County for Clayton State's master's degree in business administration.
The number of undergraduate degrees offered by Clayton State has more than doubled, and the size of the school's faculty has grown from 140 members to more than 200 people in the past seven years, according to the university's written statement. Clayton State's Office of International Programs was also established during Hoffman's tenure.
"Clayton State University has been incredibly well served by Dr. Hoffman's leadership," Hynes said. "Her dedication to our institution, and especially her exceptional work in academic program development leave a proud legacy to Clayton State University. We are all very much appreciative of that work."
Hoffman has been a finalist for a few top university positions at other schools around the county in the past. In March, Fairmont, W.Va.-based Fairmont State University announced Hoffman was one of three finalists for the school's president position. In 2005, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls announced Hoffman as one of the finalists for its chancellor position, according to that school's web site.
In 2004, Slippery Rock (Penn.) University's student newspaper, The Rocket, reported Hoffman was one of six candidates who interviewed for that school's president position.
"If you do look at the grand scheme of things, people do move around in higher education, even at the high levels," Shiffert said.