Olens promises 'dialogue' at KSU; discrimination complaint planned over his hiring

EEOC complaint expected in KSU Olens appointment

KENNESAW, GA -- A Kennesaw State University professor says she will file a discrimination complaint against the hiring of Sam Olens as KSU’s president. Olens has resigned as Attorney General to take the KSU job. He was the only applicant considered.    

At midday Thursday, about 70 students and faculty lined up next to Kennesaw State’s administration building for ten minutes of silent protest – directed at its new president, and the board of regents that hired Sam Olens without accepting any other applicants.

"No one was allowed to apply, including women and minorities. It was not a normal search or hiring process. So an EEOC case is pending and will be filed next week with multiple complainants," said Dr. Susan Raines, a KSU professor of 17 years.

EARLIER | Students, faculty upset about potential new KSU president

Raines says she is among those who applied for the job of KSU president.  "My application was not acknowledged in any way," she said.

Instead, Olens was selected without dissent by the state Board of Regents Wednesday.  Overnight, Olens sent an email to the KSU community, saying in part: “I know that you have many questions about how I plan to lead this university. As president, I strongly believe in mutual respect, open communication, and tolerance …I am not one to sit behind a desk, so get used to seeing me out and about on both campuses.”

"I have a lot of hope this is going to be OK," said Dr. Christine Ziegler, who was among those at Wednesday’s Regents meeting calling for a broader search.  Now she says she’s pulling for Olens to prove himself as KSU’s president.

"But he needs to evoke the support of his constituents, which is going to require the pressing of flesh. Which I hear politicians are also good at."

Olens was unavailable Thursday for comment, but did send a letter to students, staff and faculty. Click here to read the letter. 

RELATED | Sam Olens touts 'mutual respect' and 'tolerance' at KSU

EARLIER | Kennesaw State students stage protest against probable new president

PHOTOS | Kennesaw State University student protest

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