Harrison came to GGC in January 2006 after being appointed by the chancellor of the University System of Georgia to serve on the management team overseeing the college”s creation.
“Dr. Harrison was one of three employees at the beginning of GGC”s history,”# said President Daniel J. Kaufman. “We had a budget of less than $1 million and the challenge of founding a new college. Today, we have 750 employees, almost 6,000 students and a budget of $60 million. He has contributed in many ways to the growth and success of this institution, and we are very grateful for his good work.”#
Harrison originally had a broad role in the academic functions of the college. He was initially responsible for examining programs in the United States and internationally and developing options for creating an innovative learning methodology. He contributed to the formation of both the academic and management structure of the institution, including hiring critical positions.
As the college grew, Harrison settled into his duties as vice president for Advancement and soon was elected by the Board of Trustees of the GGC Foundation as that organization”s charter president. He has been responsible for the development, public affairs and external affairs functions, as well as the growth and management of the foundation. This involved developing legal, fiduciary, research and fundraising functions, board operations and events, as well as managing cash assets and real estate holdings in excess of $350 million.
Harrison also serves as an assistant professor in the School of Business, and currently teaches a course in business communication and strategies.
“It has been my privilege to be part of the remarkable journey of Georgia Gwinnett College,”# Harrison said. “I extend my deepest appreciation to all those who have supported this historic endeavor and especially value the leadership and involvement of the Gwinnett community. I also am very proud to have served alongside my fellow cabinet members and with President Kaufman, for whom I have the deepest respect.”#
Harrison”s career began in northern Florida as a biologist for the Florida Game and Fish Commission. Two years later, he joined Georgia Governor George Busbee”s team in his Federal State Relations office as a specialist in environmental matters, eventually becoming coordinator of that office which served the State of Georgia as liaison to the White House and the U.S. Congress.
He would spend the rest of his career in the higher education and the external relations arenas, holding senior positions with Kennesaw State University and GGC. Harrison played key roles in creating the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech, establishment of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, acquisition of the Amicalola River basin and realigning the management functions of the House of Representatives.
“I have always found personal satisfaction in working with coalitions of people and organizations toward programs and activities with public service benefit,”# Harrison said. “It has been a joy working alongside Gwinnett leaders and playing a small role in creating this remarkable institution. I consider this a high point of my career and a most enjoyable experience.”#
Harrison holds two bachelor”s degrees from the University of South Florida, one in microbiology and the other in English literature. He earned his master”s degree from Kennesaw State University and his doctorate from Georgia State University.
He will retain status as an assistant professor in GGC”s School of Business and will teach two courses in the fall 2011 semester. He also will be a part-time assistant for External Affairs to President Dan Kaufman.
The college has not yet announced plans for filling Harrison”s positions.
About Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. GGC opened its doors in August 2006 as the nation”s first four-year public college founded in the 21st century, and the first four-year public college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years. Georgia Gwinnett produces contributing citizens and future leaders for Georgia and the nation. Its graduates are inspired to contribute to their local, state, national and international communities and are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world. Visit Georgia Gwinnett College”s Web site at www.ggc.edu.