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GSU president Bruce Grube to resign

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GSU president Bruce Grube to resign

Dr. Bruce Grube

    Georgia Southern University president Bruce Grube announced Monday he would resign his position effective June 30, 2009 — exactly 10 years after he arrived on campus to serve as the university’s 11th president.
    Grube made the announcement in an email to all Georgia Southern staff and in a video message on the university’s Web site.
    “It has certainly been an honor beyond words for my wife Kathryn and me to have served at Georgia Southern University,” Grube said in a press release. Grube is out of the country, university officials said.
    The state Board of Regents soon will begin a national search for Grube’s replacement. The process typically takes about a year.  An interim president would be named if a new president is not in place by July 1, 2009.
    “It is the right time for the university,” Grube said. “The university’s strategic plan has been developed and put into action, numerous construction projects are underway and a new president will have the opportunity to come in and not only build upon what the university has already accomplished, but take Georgia Southern to new a level.”
    Upon his resignation, Grube will take one year of educational leave to prepare to return to the classroom as a professor of political science in 2010 at Georgia Southern. During his leave, Grube also will serve as a consultant with the University System of Georgia.
    Jimmy Franklin, a Statesboro attorney and member of the Georgia Southern Foundation Board of Trustees, was saddened by Grube’s announcement.
    “He has provided such outstanding leadership for Georgia Southern, he will be missed and difficult to replace,” Franklin said. “His vision of improving every aspect of Georgia Southern has driven the university’s overall improvement from the moment he got here.”
    Prior to coming to Georgia Southern, Grube served as president of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota from 1995 to 1999.
    Franklin began his two-year term as chairman of the Foundation Board the year Grube arrived. Franklin said he remembered discussions with Grube about increasing academic standards.
    “Many people told him if he tried to raise standards, enrollment would go down,” Franklin said. “Obviously, he was proven to have the right plan.”
    Georgia Southern enrollment stood at 14,476 in 1999 and the average SAT score was 987. For the 2008 fall semester, enrollment is 17,764, an increase of 3,288 students, while the average SAT score for incoming freshman is now 1,111, an increase of 124 points.
    In fact, growth has spread across the entire campus since Grube’s arrival. The College of Education building opened in 2000 and was followed by many other academic and support buildings since then. The Nessmith-Lane building was expanded to included the 825-seat Performing Arts Center that opened in 2002.
    A massive expansion and renovation of the Zach S. Henderson Library is nearly done and when complete, it will be among the finest university libraries in the Southeast. Other major building projects completed during Grube’s tenure include:
  •  College of Information Technology building
  •  Nursing/Chemistry building
  •  Center for Art & Theatre
  •  Soccer and Track facility
  •  Gene Bishop building
  •  Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center.
    “If you just ride around campus, you can see Dr. Grube’s legacy,” said Tommy David, a Foundation trustee and president of First Southern Bank. “There’s no question he’s leaving Georgia Southern as a superior university to when he arrived.”
    On-campus living also has grown significantly. New residence halls like Southern Courtyard, Southern Pines and Eagle Village improved student housing, and the 1,001-bed Centennial Place will be ready for the 2009 fall semester.   
    “How Dr. Grube pulled off all these capitol projects, I have no idea,” said Dr. Ron Shiffler, dean of the College of Business Administration and interim dean of the College of Information Technology. “When you combine our beautiful campus with higher academic standards you attract better students and better faculty. Dr. Grube is a transformational president for our university.”
    Grube said he is excited about the next phase of his life.
    “Now, however, it is the time in my life to step out of the presidency,” Grube said in the email. “Please know and understand that I have given this decision the most careful thought and consideration. I look forward to spending more time with (my wife) Kathryn, family, and friends.”
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