Georgia Tech administrator tapped to lead University of North Georgia


DAHLONEGA, Ga. (AP) — A high-ranking Georgia Tech administrator is in line to become the next president of the University of North Georgia.

The Board of Regents voted Wednesday to name Mike Shannon as the sole finalist to lead the 18,000-student university, which is based in Dahlonega and has campuses in Gainesville, Cumming, Blue Ridge and Watkinsville.

Shannon is currently the interim executive vice president for administration and finance at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. He's a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. That's an asset at North Georgia, where the Dahlonega campus hosts one of six senior military colleges nationwide.

Current North Georgia President Bonita Jacobs, who has led the school since 2011, is retiring in June.

Shannon started work at Georgia Tech in 2016 after a two decade-career in the Army that included 10 years as an expert in nuclear technology issues. He was a research engineer in Georgia Tech's Advanced Concepts Laboratory and led the campus response to COVID-19. Shannon was vice president and deputy chief business officer before moving into his current role.

Shannon was also an instructor and assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. He also earned a master’s in health physics and a doctorate in nuclear and radiological engineering from Georgia Tech.

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue called Shannon “an ideal candidate” in a statement, saying “Mike likes to say he leads from the front and then gets out of the way."

Regents must vote again to affirm Shannon as president, waiting at least five days.