Darton State College president hands in resignation

Darton State College is now without President Peter Sireno after he turned in his resignation Friday. / File

Darton State College is now without President Peter Sireno after he turned in his resignation Friday.

The following is an email sent out by Sireno to Darton faculty, including the mention of a merger:

Early yesterday afternoon Chancellor Huckaby informed me that he and the Board of Regents have decided that new leadership is needed at Darton State College. Therefore, as requested, I have tendered my resignation, effective immediately.

Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for all the support you have shown me and have given to Darton State College. Together we have accomplished many things on behalf of Darton State College to promote quality education and career opportunities for Darton State's students and the Southwest Georgia community.

Many exciting changes and challenges are in store for Darton State in the months and years ahead, among them a merger. Although I will not be here with you to meet these challenges, I know you will continue to support Darton State College's higher education mission.

I wish you, the Foundation, Darton State College, and the University System of Georgia much future success.

The University System of Georgia released the following statement:

Dr. Paul Jones, currently the senior vice president for Finance and Administration and a professor of Educational Administration at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, has been named as the interim president of Darton State College in Albany.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby made the appointment, which is effective on Mon., Oct. 21, 2013.

Jones takes over the presidency from Dr. Peter J. Sireno, who steps down as president today, Oct. 18.

"Dr. Jones has an impressive track record of leadership in higher education and we are fortunate he is able to step in and serve Darton State College in the coming months," said Huckaby. "Dr. Sireno has provided steady leadership at Darton for almost 25 years and has led the college through many major transitions that have enlarged its ability to serve the region."

"This is an important transition moment for Darton College and Dr. Jones has our full support and confidence as he takes over the leadership and positions the College for its future," Huckaby said.

Jones has served in a number of key leadership posts at Georgia College, including vice president for Administration and Operation, vice president and chief of staff, vice president for institutional research and enrollment management.

He has prior experience as an interim president, serving in that role at Georgia College for two months prior to the arrival of current president Dr. Steve Dorman.

His career spans more than 27 years in higher education in Georgia, Colorado, Utah, and Maryland. In 2007, Jones was named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, the nation's premier higher education leadership program and served at the University of West Florida.

Jones holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education and Human Resource Studies with a concentration in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University, and a bachelor's and master's degree from Utah State University.

Information on the appointment of a search committee for a permanent president will be announced at a future date.

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