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President's Executive Team & Cabinet

Neal Weaver

Dr. Neal Weaver

President Weaver began his tenure in July of 2017 and is responsible for the University’s strategic direction and overall administration. Weaver comes to GSW from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. where he was the vice president for university advancement and innovation. Prior to Nicholls State, Weaver served West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in Canyon as vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the WTAMU Foundation. He has also served in previous roles as vice president for university relations, director of university relations and director of public relations at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. Weaver holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He earned an MBA from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and a bachelor of arts in speech/communications from Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell. 

Dr. Laura Boren

Dr. Laura Boren

Executive Vice President for Student Engagement & Success
Laura D. Boren, Ph.D., serves as the Executive Vice President for Student Engagement and Success (EVPSES), overseeing the two major functional areas of student life and enrollment management. She is responsible for providing innovative and strategic leadership, as well as, administrative direction for student engagement and retention priorities across institutional lines. Reporting to President Neal Weaver, she serves as the chief student affairs and retention officer at the institution. She came to GSW in July of 2018 from Tarleton State University, part of the Texas A&M University System, located in Stephenville, Texas, where she served as vice president for Student Affairs. Previously, she served as vice president for Student Affairs at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. She has over 20 years of experience in administrative leadership and holds a Doctorate in higher education administration from Texas A&M University. Prior to this, she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in meetings and destination management and her Master of Science in college student personnel services from Northeastern State University.

Suzanne Smith

Dr. Jill Drake

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Drake has 23 years of experience in higher education with ten years in both public and private educational settings. She holds faculty rank at UWG as a tenured, full professor in the College of Education. She received her Doctorate of Education from the University of Georgia in 1999. She also holds an Education Specialist degree, a Master of Science degree, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University. As Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA) at UWG, Dr. Drake provides leadership for the Ombuds Office, the Registrar’s Office, the Faculty Records Coordinator, the Academic Scheduler, and the Provost’s Fellow for Student Success Initiatives. She also serves as UWG’s Chief Transfer Officer and Chair of the Board of Regents’ Transfer Officers Academic Advisory Committee.

Jeff Hall

Jeff Hall, CPA

Vice President for Business and Finance

Jeff Hall returned to Georgia Southwestern in September 2020 and serves as the Vice President for Business and Finance. In this role, he supervises the offices of Accounting Services, Purchasing, Materials Management, Auxiliary Services, Public Safety, Student Accounts and Physical Plant. Jeff previously served as GSW’s Comptroller from 2010-2017 and Albany State University’s Controller for 3 years after that. He has also worked as an auditor for the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Government Financial Manager. Jeff earned both of his degrees from GSW, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing in 2001 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in 2005.

Stephen Snyder

Stephen E. Snyder, MBA

Assistant Vice President for Advancement, GSW Foundation Executive Director
Snyder joined the Georgia Southwestern staff in 2007 as a development officer before transitioning into the role of University Relations Director, where he served for more than 10 years. Prior to being named Assistant Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director to the GSW Foundation, he served as Special Assistant to the President. Snyder provides oversight for the Foundation, Marketing and Communications, Alumni Services, Annual Fund, Advancement Services, Development and Government Relations. Snyder earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southwestern.

Extended Cabinet Members

headshot of John Brooks

John Brooks, MPA

Director of Human Resources
John Brooks joined Georgia Southwestern in August, 2022. As Director of Human Resources, he is responsible for oversight of all personnel operations, open records requests and ethics and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) compliance. Before coming to GSW, John served as Chief Human Resource Officer and other leadership positions for multiple universities and state systems, including Armstrong State University, Tennessee Technological University, the University of Louisiana - Lafayette, and the University of Missouri System. He also has served for many years as an adjunct professor and higher education consultant. John earned a Master of Public Administration from Missouri State University and a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Drury University.

Royce Hackett

Royce Hackett

Director of Information & Instructional Technology/Chief Information Officer
Royce Hackett came to GSW in 1997 as a member of the campus Information and Instructional Technology team. He was named the University’s Chief Information Officer in April of 2007, and is responsible for the integration of technology into the instructional and administrative missions of the University. Hackett earned his Associate of Applied Science from Columbus State University, and his Bachelor of Science and his Master of Science in Computer Science from Georgia Southwestern.

Mike Leeder

Mike Leeder

Director of Athletics
Mike Leeder has served as the University’s athletic director since 2014, focusing his attention on and raising funds for all 10 Hurricane sports. Previously, Leeder was the head coach of the Men's Basketball Program for 12 seasons. Leeder was named the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year for the 2010-2011 season. Prior to joining GSW, Leeder served as head men’s basketball coach at Longwood University (1999-2003). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Florida State University, and a Master of Science degree in education from Nova Southeastern University.