SC State University Board of Trustees Name University’s 10th President

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dr. George Cooper


ORANGEBURG - The SC State University Board of Trustees has announced today, (June 6, 2008) that Dr. George E. Cooper has unanimously been selected to be SC State’s 10th President. Dr. Cooper will begin his duties on July 1, 2008.

This is a great day in the history of SC State University, said Maurice G. Washington, chairman, SC State University Board of Trustees. The most important decision that a university’s governing body will ever make, is the appointment of its leader. I am proud that we have made an awesome decision.”

Currently, Dr. Cooper serves as the deputy administrator for Science and Education Resources Development with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in Washington, D.C.

“I am honored to be selected as the 10th President of SC State University,” Dr. Cooper said. “I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and stakeholders as we, together move towards academic excellence. It is my intent to establish a creative and participatory campus environment as we embark on defining SC State’s future. Again, I am honored and excited about the transition from Washington to Orangeburg, and to SC State University,” he said.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Cooper served in the following capacities:

  • Deputy Administrator, Partnerships Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 1995 – 2002 (Concurrent responsibilities as Acting Deputy Administrator for Communications, Technology and Distance Learning 1998 – 2002);
  • National Program Leader, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension System, 1994 – 1995;
  • Principal Animal Nutritionist and Coordinator of Strategic Planning, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research Service, Washington, D.C., 1991 – 1994;
  • Professor of Animal Science, Alabama A & M University, Normal, Alabama, 1989 – 1991;
  • Executive Assistant to the President and Professor of Animal Science, Alabama A & M University, Normal, Alabama, 1988 – 1989;
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs, Alabama A & M University, Normal, Alabama, 1985 – 1988;
  • Dean, School of Agriculture and Home Economics and Associate Professor of Animal Science, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1983 – 1985;
  • Dean, School of Applied Sciences and Associate Professor of Animal Science, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1978 – 1983;
  • Animal Nutritionist, Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center, Morrilton, Arkansas, 1976 – 1978;
  • Assistant Professor of Animal Nutrition and Coordinator of International Programs, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1972 – 1975;
  • Graduate Fellow, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 1969 – 1972;
  • Graduate Assistant, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, 1967 – 1969.

Dr. Cooper earned his Ph. D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois, Urbana; a master’s
degree in Animal Science from Tuskegee University; and a bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry
from Florida A&M University.

“Again, I sincerely thank each and every member of SC State’s Presidential Search Committee, as well as the members of the SC State Board of Trustees for their commitment, dedication, and professionalism,” Washington stated. “I sincerely thank those persons who assisted in making this very important decision in the history of SC State; especially those who were fully engaged in the process from the beginning, through today’s announcement,” he continued.

Academic Search Inc., an international search firm, led the search process. More than 43 people sought the presidency position at SC State. In addition to the search firm, SC State appointed a 15-member search committee, which included representatives from all stakeholder groups (government, community, faculty, staff, student, alumni, and corporate) to also assist.

"From the onset, we, the Board, charged the search committee, and ourselves with being above board, and without exception, we have done that. Since January 2008, our mission throughout this very serious process was to ensure that the search for our next president was fair, and open, but most importantly transparent. We wanted to make sure that everyone with a sincere interest in SC State was informed as we proceeded to identify, and now finally appoint the next leader of our great Institution. As I will continue to say, our future is brighter than our past,” Washington exclaimed.

Interim president Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre will continue to ready the campus until Dr. Cooper takes office in July 2008.

“It will truly be an honor and a pleasure to work with Dr. Cooper at our University,” said interim president, Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre. “I was appointed to prepare SC State for the permanent president, and with a laser-like focus, we have achieved success. I welcome Dr. Cooper to ‘Bulldog Country’ and congratulate him on being named the 10th President of our University,” McIntyre continued.

There will be a formal introduction of Dr. Cooper on the campus of SC State next week.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Erica S. Prioleau, director of University Relations and Marketing at SC State at or at (803) 378-1407.