Dr. Cheryl D. Dozier, who has been in higher education for 20 years, began her tenure as interim president of Savannah State University on May 9, 2011, and quickly instilled a culture of service, strength and unity across the Savannah State campus. Dozier’s primary goal has been to focus on academic achievement at SSU. “ I want to enhance academic excellence and move from matriculation to graduation,” Dozier said.
“Another focus is customer service and getting our students, faculty, families, and external community to work together.” Dozier’s motto “matriculation to graduation” is a vision she hopes remains long after her term as president. “ The first vision has to be academic achievement and I think it will take years for us to get there. We will have more online education, and more non-traditional, and military students” Dozier said.
Her hope is to prepare students to work in the global community and stresses the need for students to obtain a passport and be prepared to have careers and internships abroad.
Throughout her tenure at SSU, she has had many fond experiences from attending academic and athletic events to homecoming to meeting and working with alumni.
She takes pride in the opportunities alumni have been afforded and the opportunities alumni can afford students. However, her most cherished memories have been those of students. “ They are so engaging. Our students are professionals and put on awesome presentations,” Dozier said.
Dozier served as associate provost and chief diversity officer for the Office of Institutional Diversity at the University of Georgia. In that role, Dozier led UGA’s efforts to evaluate existing programs and develop new initiatives to support diversity and equity.
Her knowledge, interest and expertise in diversity and international and global issues also aided Dozier as director of the interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad Program at UGA, a position in which she collaborated with faculty at four Ghanaian universities for more than a decade.
There, she enjoyed the opportunities to advance from faculty to administrator and running the day-to-day operations of UGA’s satellite campus. Her various positions at UGA inspired her to become a president.
As principal investigator of the National Institute of Health (NIH/NCMHD) Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions at Savannah State, Dozier manages a $4 million grant project designed to strengthen the university’s biomedical and behavioral science research infrastructure, with a focus on health disparities.