Stuart Rayfield

CARROLLTON — University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced that he has accepted University of West Georgia interim President Micheal Crafton’s resignation effective Dec. 16, the end of the fall semester. Following his resignation as interim president and provost, Crafton will return to faculty in the spring 2020 semester to teach in the College of Education’s Ed.D. of Higher Education Administration program.

Stuart Rayfield, vice chancellor for leadership and institutional development at USG’s system office, will lead UWG as interim president until a new president is announced. A national presidential search is currently under way.

“I am grateful to Dr. Crafton for his longtime service and commitment to UWG,” Wrigley said in a news release. “Dr. Crafton has spent more than 30 years within USG in various capacities, including as interim Chief Academic Officer at the System Office. Our students have benefited greatly from his experience and loyalty.

“I am confident that Dr. Rayfield will assume this leadership role seamlessly and with great dedication and enthusiasm. I am thankful for the efforts of both Drs. Crafton and Rayfield on behalf of UWG.”

The outgoing interim president said he appreciated the opportunity granted by the University System.

“It has been a privilege to serve UWG as interim president and provost,” Crafton said. “UWG’s campus community is unlike any other, and working among some of Georgia’s best and brightest has been the privilege of my lifetime. I look forward to the next chapter of my career in higher education and will whole-heartedly support Dr. Rayfield during this time of transition.”

“UWG is a vibrant campus community with students, faculty and staff eager to share their thoughts and ideas on how to strengthen UWG for the future,” said Rayfield. “I am eager to hit the ground running.”

Rayfield previously served as interim president of Gordon State College and Bainbridge State College. Prior to those roles, she served as the Frank D. Brown Distinguished Chair in Servant Leadership, associate professor and interim associate provost for Undergraduate Education at Columbus State in 2015. Prior to her service at USG, she held positions at Auburn University, Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Rayfield earned a doctorate degree in leadership, policy and organizations from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in higher education administration, student affairs from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

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