Brendan Kelly

ATLANTA – University of West Georgia (UWG) President Brendan Kelly is leaving later this year for a new job as president of the Arkansas State University System.

Kelly began his tenure at UWG in March 2020 as the COVID pandemic was taking hold. During his time there, the university has broken records in student retention, fundraising, and degrees conferred.

West Georgia also elevated its athletic program to NCAA Division I on Kelly’s watch and established two new colleges and one new school.

“Serving as president of the University of West Georgia is one of the greatest privileges of my life and represents some of the best work we can achieve in higher education,” Kelly said in a statement he shared with the university’s faculty and staff last week.

“We have spent our time at this institution trying to plant seeds, knowing that others would enjoy the shade of the mature trees.”

Kelly’s start date in Arkansas has not been announced, but it will be no later than Oct. 1. An interim president for UWG has not been named.