President, Clark Atlanta University
On September 1, 2019, Dr. George T. French, Jr., became the fifth President of Clark Atlanta University, the largest UNCF institution in the country. Prior to his presidential appointment, Dr. French served for 13 years as the President of Miles College, making him the longest-serving private college president in the State of Alabama, and amongst the longest-serving and effective private or university presidents in the nation.
Under his leadership at Miles College, the institution maintained fiscal stability and growth with a Composite Financial Index among the top 10% of HBCUs in the nation. According to the United Negro College Fund, Miles ranked as the fourth most financially viable UNCF-college in the nation.
Dr. French increased Miles’ total operating budget on average of $2 million per year, and increased the value of endowment assets and total net assets each year significantly. Under his leadership, the College generated $67 million in total economic impact for its local and regional economies and created 357 on-campus jobs and 730 jobs for its regional economy. During his tenure at Miles, President French secured over $100 million of funding in support of the College.
Additionally, during his tenure, the College nearly tripled the land size of the Campus, while constructing three new buildings simultaneously, renovating every building on Campus, and creating a beautiful atmosphere conducive to learning.
A nationally recognized leader and influencer in higher education and educational policy, Dr. French has served three secretaries of education under two presidents as Congressional appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). In this role, he advised the Secretary of Education on the standards of academic accrediting agencies and departmental policy. In addition, the United States Congress appointed Dr. French to serve on the U.S. Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking Committee in deliberation of access to affordable postsecondary education.
Dr. French is a two-term Board of Trustee member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). He serves as an officer of the Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Committee as Vice President for Workforce Development. He is also a member of the Regions Bank Diversity Advisory Council, served as Treasurer of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and has won numerous awards to include Birmingham Spotlight “Man of the Year,” NAACP “Man of the Year,” and the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Dr. French earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Policy Analysis from the University of Louisville. He was, competitively, accepted into the University of Richmond Law School and completed two years of studies before being recruited by Miles College to serve as the Director of Development. He completed his final year of law school at Miles Law School, earning a Juris Doctorate degree. Dr. French received his Ph.D. degree in Higher Education from Jackson State University.
• Led COVID crisis management team: migrated nearly 4,000 students and several hundred faculty members to online platform so that teaching and learning continued.
• Purchased 4,000 laptops for all students.
• Eliminated two years of student balances, facilitating increased enrollment and greater access for students.
• Garnered $200 million in revenue for the university within 31 months.
• Exceeded all fundraising records in the history of the university to date. Increased prospective Comprehensive Campaign goal from $100 million to quarter-billion dollars.
• Historic partnerships branding: Apple, Google, Microsoft, CISCO, Georgia Film Academy, and many others.
• Serving as Chair of the Board, Atlanta University Center Consortium since July 2020.
• Enhanced campus beautification to include total exterior refurbishing of Historic Harkness Hall and repair and restoration of the tower bells.
Overview: Violence has eradiated our communities for years from domestic violence within the homes, violence throughout the streets, youth fighting in the classrooms, and now killings on our college campuses. During this workshop, panel experts will discuss solutions for violence prevention so we can remain safe and healthy throughout all stages of our lives.