Michelle Johnston

Michelle Johnston will serve as the next president of College of Coastal Georgia.

The University System of Georgia announced Tuesday that Michelle Johnston has been named the sole finalist to become College of Coastal Georgia’s next president.

Johnston currently serves as the 22nd president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College in Ohio. She has held that position since 2014.

“I am honored and energized by this opportunity to join the College of Coastal Georgia faculty and staff, the University System of Georgia and the Golden Isles community to further the focus on student success and a compelling mission,” said Johnston, in a press release sent Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement wraps up a search for the college’s next president that began in December.

The USG appointed 14 people at the college to serve on a presidential search committee that was tasked with choosing three to five semi-finalists.

The committee chose to conduct a closed search, so applicants and finalists remained anonymous throughout the search process.

A Board of Regents committee made the final decision.

“Dr. Johnston’s experience in higher education will provide a strong foundation for the students, faculty and staff of the College of Coastal Georgia,” said Steve Wrigley, chancellor of the USG, in the press release. “I want to thank and commend the campus search committee for its efforts and the role it played in this search process. The College of Coastal Georgia and the Brunswick community will greatly benefit from Dr. Johnston’s leadership.”

Meg Amstutz will soon step down from her position as interim president, which she took on in July 2017.

The Board of Regents will take action on the finalist for the next president of CCGA at a future board meeting, following the required five business days after the naming of a finalist.

Johnston’s career includes 10 years of service as a faculty member and more than 20 years in administration. She’s held positions at the University of Montevallo, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Mississippi State University and Wood College.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense appointed Johnston to the Marine Corps University Board in Quantico, Va. She serves as chair of the board.

She also serves on the board for the Welsh Heritage Museum, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich appointed her to be a member of the Association of Ohio Commodores.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree from Louisiana State University, a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University and a post-doctorate in marketing and management from the University of Florida.

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