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Public forums set for candidates for Commandant of Cadets

Three public forums will be held March 25, 27 and 28 to allow faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members to meet the three finalists for Commandant of Cadets.

After an extensive national search, the University of North Georgia (UNG) has identified three candidates to serve as the next Commandant of Cadets. The position will be vacated at the end of June with the retirement of Col. James T. Palmer, who has served as commandant at UNG for 20 years.

Dr. James Conneely, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at UNG, said the finalists for the position are highly qualified for the role.

"All the candidates possess the essential credentials to lead the Corps of Cadets well into the 21st century and are passionate about this opportunity," Conneely said. "All candidates are current active-duty Army officers with the recent and relevant experience required to mold our future leaders."

The candidates have been invited to UNG to meet with campus leadership, the campus community and alumni during the last two weeks of March. Each candidate will have a full day of meetings with senior leadership and campus officials and will participate in an open forum to meet other members of the campus community and alumni.

All three public forums will be held in the Great Room, located in the Hoag Student Center on the Dahlonega Campus. The finalists and the times for each are:

  • Col. Jon Neumann: Monday, March 25, 4:35-5:35 p.m.
  • Col. Joe Matthews: Wednesday, March 27, 4:45-5:45 p.m.
  • Col. Craig Alia: Thursday, March 28, 4:15-5:15 p.m.

The Office of the Commandant is part of the Division of Student Affairs and supervises the nationally prominent military program at UNG. The commandant and the professor of military science provide oversight of and serve as co-directors for UNG's Corps of Cadets. The commandant's staff provides student services, records management and general training management for the corps. The commandant staff manages three military residence halls, a drill field, a rappelling tower, two on-campus military leadership courses, and a personnel records center.

The university is expected to make a decision regarding the commandant position in April.

Palmer, who graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned from then-North Georgia College in 1973, was recognized in January with a commendation from Gov. Nathan Deal to recognize his years of service to the university, the state of Georgia and the nation. Palmer is the longest-serving commandant in the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS).

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