New director named for UGA Gwinnett Campus

Athens, Ga. – A new director for the University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus has been named. Laura Crawley, who has served as director of the Executive MBA Program in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University since 2009, will succeed Ruth Bettandorff, who retired in September.

Crawley will hold the title of assistant vice president for academic affairs and director of the UGA Gwinnett Campus effective November 1. She will report to Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction, who oversees UGA programs on UGA’s extended campuses.

Crawley’s responsibilities will include handling day-to-day coordination of academic programs, working with UGA schools and colleges on the Athens campus to maintain and develop new graduate degree programs for the Gwinnett Campus. UGA-Gwinnett also houses the Georgia Center for Continuing Education and the Small Business Development Center, which offer noncredit courses for professional development.

“Dr. Crawley has a proven record of leadership with extended campus programs, a strong commitment to quality education experiences and to student success,” said Jolly. “I am confident that she will provide the leadership necessary to support our continuing programmatic excellence on the UGA Gwinnett campus.” 

For the last four years, Crawley has overseen the Executive MBA program at Georgia State University, which has moved up 15 places in the Financial Times international ranking of EMBA programs and this year has doubled in size. Crawley has introduced program and curriculum innovations and incorporated new technologies to respond to market and employer demand, relying on strong partnerships to develop offerings in entrepreneurship, international marketing strategy, leadership and comparative risk management. She has fostered relationships within the metro-Atlanta business community to create new opportunities for students and alumni, and she has managed international business residencies to China, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey.

Before coming to Georgia State University, Crawley was a business developer for Crane MetaMarketing, Inc., where she developed branding and marketing programs for non-profit organizations around the country. In this role she consulted with clients in organizational development, strategic planning, fundraising and recruitment.

Crawley also held the position of assistant to the vice president of student affairs at Georgia Perimeter College, helping to oversee admissions, financial aid, disability services and other student support services. She has taught at Emory University and Georgia Perimeter College, and co-founded an international academic journal, The Journal of The Historical Society, based out of Boston University. Crawley holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Emory University.

Crawley has lived in the Atlanta area for the last 22 years and held leadership positions in several community organizations, including the DeKalb Preparatory Academy, a public charter school in DeKalb County; St. John’s Lutheran Church; Thrivent Financial and the Six Star Refugee Partnership Board.

“My commitment to educational innovation and community development influences every decision I’ve made,” said Crawley. “The UGA Gwinnett Campus, located in one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, provides unique opportunities for working adults who seek advanced degrees. I look forward to partnering with the academic units in UGA’s schools and colleges to create new opportunities for success that extend beyond the boundaries of the campus.”