Why Sam Olens and Chris Carr are good picks for jobs that have evolved

UPDATED at 3:30 p.m.: Both appointments are now official.

ORIGINAL POST:

Sam Olens is set to be named today as the new president of Kennesaw State University. His long-expected appointment, and that of his putative successor as attorney general, have spurred a lot of hand-wringing about their credentials.

The worry is misplaced, because what’s most needed in these jobs these days isn’t what it once was.

Attorney General Sam Olens. (AJC photo / Hyosub Shin)

Attorney General Sam Olens. (AJC photo / Hyosub Shin)

The president of a state school in 2016 may have no greater asset than these: prowess at raising money and a good relationship with the General Assembly. Olens should be excellent at both.

The two are related. Finances are at the heart of a simmering (for now) dispute between the Board of Regents and the Legislature. Lawmakers resent that they lack control over the regents’ spending but field numerous constituent complaints about tuition hikes. Colleges fear potential legislation to limit how fast tuition can grow. This could blow up next year.

Meanwhile, colleges have redoubled their fund-raising efforts. They need to top up the amount legislators see fit to appropriate and the amount regents think they can levy via tuition, as well as to fill the gap between what the HOPE scholarship now covers and what low-income students can afford.

College presidents in Georgia haven’t always navigated these waters well. Since 2011, they’ve been helped by having an ex-legislator, Hank Huckaby, as chancellor. But Huckaby is retiring, and it wouldn’t hurt the university system, or KSU in particular, to bring Olens into the fold.

This particular moment is even more ripe for someone with Olens’ background. The KSU presidency is vacant because the man who had filled it, Daniel Papp, resigned after revelations he took retirement payments from the school’s foundation while still on the payroll. Other financial-policy violations came to light after he left. So KSU could use a former attorney general with a squeaky-clean reputation right about now.

The other half of this changeover is Olens’ expected replacement, Chris Carr. Georgia’s commissioner for economic development for three years, Carr is an attorney by training but hasn’t been one by vocation for more than a decade.

As long as he meets the minimum requirement set out by the state Constitution (seven years as an active member of the State Bar, though not necessarily the last seven years) I’m OK with that. The job of attorney general has also changed.

Georgia’s AG need not argue cases in court; Olens created the position of solicitor general for that. What he does need to understand is the role a state attorney general plays in the current policy environment, in which the federal government continually tramples state interests through legislation and — with alarming frequency and breadth in the Obama era, sure to continue if Hillary Clinton is elected — executive actions.

The courts increasingly are where states make their stand. Under Olens, Georgia successfully challenged such policies as Medicaid expansion under coercion and deferred prosecution for illegal immigrants whose children are legally present.

These are the highest-profile cases Georgia’s AG will take. He must identify where to draw the line with Washington, then work with the state’s staff of lawyers to craft the legal case. I’d expect Carr to be very good at that, particularly when it comes to the anti-business edicts coming from D.C.

We hear all the time about the way job descriptions in the private sector are changing. Some updated thinking is needed for these public-sector jobs, too.

Reader Comments 0

91 comments
lvg
lvg

Lead editorial in today's NY Times by Erick Erikson:


""In November, when Mr. Trump’s meteor enters the atmosphere of the voting booth, Americans will be treated to a spectacular flameout as late-night comedians and professional Twitter warriors rush to tweet, “You’re fired!” But when the Russians go home, the pastors repent and riot police disperse white nationalist protests, the Republicans will need fresh ideas.""


So where are the fresh new ideas?


Sam Olens had some but is being sent to Kennesaw to keep from confrontation with Shady.Can't be having reporters snooping around at GOP campaign events and videotaping them . Quit this free press and open records nonsense.


lvg
lvg

Well I guess Shady didn't like Olens defending that lady reporter who had the nerve to videotape the GOP boys saying nasty things about Michelle Nunn. Need to teach that reporter a lesson and give her some jail time.

Buckhead
Buckhead

Olen's does'nt like the gay's.  As an lawyer he should know better than to hold such 19th century attitude's.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The only thing obama has accomplished is kicking jimmy carter out of the worst president ever title.

lvg
lvg

@IReportYouWhine Yeah 55% of Americans are confused and don't know what a good President is. Which President had more people in his administration convicted tha any other president?Hint--- It wasn't Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or Obama.

Caius
Caius

Obama's place in presidential history?  We will need to wait awhile.


But we can address a question Obama raised about Reagan in the 2008 campaign:

was Reagan a transformational president?  Obama believes Reagan was. Most conservatives say yes. Most liberals say no. Some of both are simply knee jerk opinions when you read them. I say he was.


Now the question: Has Obama been a transformational president?



AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Caius Yes, he has transformed us into a total failure, on all levels. 


Make America Great Again.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

"Meanwhile Obama is going to go down as one of the greatest Presidents in our history. Maybe in the top 5."


What a total meltdown^^. The pressure that Trump is putting on them is causing a clean break from reality. They are reinforcing the walls of their bubble.


And I'm laughing my a** off.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Headley, is certainly on a head trip from something today. Better get himself into rehab.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

Obama as one of the greatest presidents ever? LOL! Is Hedley drinking grape or cherry kool aide today?  Presidents are largely judged on economic performance. And the reality is that Obama is the only president since the Great Depression to not have even a single year of moderate 3% GDP growth. Embarrassing. Simply embarrassing. Not.Even.One.Year.


And by the time he leaves office Obama will have nearly doubled the national debt and nearly added more debt than all other previous presidents combined. Embarrassing. Simply embarrassing. 


Halving unemployment? LOL! The true U6 unemployment number is much higher. The fact that millions more are on food stamps tells you this is a BS statistic. 


Obama is now credited for the stock market? LOLOLOL! Naw. More like money that traditionally goes into bonds now goes into equities because interest rates are so low. Credit the Fed with that. 


Out of 2 wars? What planet is Hedley living on? The middle east melted down under Hilz and Obama's policy of regime change. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen- they are a mess as a result of her and Obama's policies. 

TicTacs
TicTacs

The students are already protesting his views on people.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Meanwhile Obama is going to go down as one of the greatest Presidents in our history. Maybe in the top 5.


Double stock market


Halved unemployment


Halved uninsured rates


Out of two costly and deadly foreign wars of choice.


He may not get on Mt Rushmore. But he will have a monument in DC someday.


Think about that Rafe. Someday little rafey's will visit our nations capitol. And they will visit the Lincoln memorial, Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, and....


The Obama memorial. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit 

"Doubled the stock market"

No, the Federal Reserve did that through Q.E. and only the rich benefited.

"Halved unemployment"

Nope, he lowered the workforce participation rate significantly. Real unemployment hovers around 10%. He did halve GDP we're now under 2%.

"out of two deadly wars of choice"

Hardly, Headley, we're facing the most dangerous world situation since the cold war.

With two thirds of the country saying we're on the wrong track as a nation, a monument to Obama, won't be the one you would want to see.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar Out of two costly and deadly foreign wars of choice.


Now that is a belly slapper.  We had Iraq pacified and under control, per Joe Biden, with only 10,000 troups there.  Now we have ISIS in charge of vast territories in Iraq, and we have returned something near 6,000 troups back to re-pacify the country and restore the lost ground.  NO end in sight.


More American's have been killed under Obama than before Obama and we still haven't accomplished squat, just lost more previously held ground. No end in sight.


Now we have wars Obama has initiated in Libya and Yemen, bombed Yemen today.  No end in sight, just more endless ME wars.


If Obama had any integrity he would return that Nobel Peace prize.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar BTW, you promised that we would never put boots on the ground again in Iraq.  You hero Barry made a liar out of you.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

The all white ( by design ) GOP says hey, its just a big coincidence that all the top spots in the state are filled by men.


And then wonder how they end up with a national disgrace like Donald Trump


Puhlease. 

Camo_Dawg
Camo_Dawg

Sam Olens is about as qualified to run a college campus as Donald Trump is to run this country. Can you say, "good ole boy" network? Sad.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @Hedley_Lammar @Camo_Dawg Yeah, Loretta Lynch and Eric (with) Holder, two real lackeys.


Yeah..They didn't give in to the political witchunt. So must be lackeys.


The FEMA example is a pretty powerful one no


Dont worry. You can yell " Lock her Up " just as loud as you want the next 4 years. Nobody will care.


Heckuva job Rafey

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar @RafeHollister @Camo_Dawg And Susan Rice, forgot her.  McCarthy's people have no charges against them for polluting the Animas River, and ruining native American fishing habitat; thank you Loretta.  Thank Loretta also for cooperating and consulting the Clintonistas while the email investigation was going on.  


WithHolder took those Fast and Furious documents with him, I believe, they have never been released, to protect Barry.  He took his Contempt of Congress charge like a real trouper, protecting the boss.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar @Camo_Dawg You know what good old boy network gets you dont you ?


Yeah, Loretta Lynch and Eric (with) Holder, two real lackies.

Yeah, Huma Abedin or Cheryl Mills, two real yes girls.

Yeah, Gina McCarthy who is in charge of the Environmental Polluting Agency.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar @RafeHollister @Camo_Dawg Far from it.


Its been shown time and time again that they are nothingburgers.


For example Benghazi. 11 committees including GOP ones concluded the Administration did nothing wrong.


NOTHING.


THERE WERE NO STAND DOWN ORDERS


But the rubes head right over to Breitbart to read about prayer rugs on the border and that Hillary sat back while people died there. So the nothing burgers live on.


Its amazing how naive you guys are. You guys deserve Trump.


Enjoy that shame for decades. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Camo_Dawg You know what good old boy network gets you dont you ?


Brownie in charge of FEMA. Heckuva job Brownie.

Want to know why you dont hear much about FEMA these days. Because Obama didn't play the good old boy network game. He appointed Craig Fugate to run FEMA. Want to know why ? Because he was actually qualified to do the job.





Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Georgia has 14 members of Congress and two U.S. senators. None of the 16 is a woman.


We have eight executive officers elected statewide, from governor through agriculture secretary and state school superintendent; none is a woman. 


Throw in the five Public Service Commissioners, who are also elected statewide, and again all are male.


That’s a total of 33 statewide and federal offices. All 33 are held by men, leaving zero to be held by women. 


http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2016/10/12/georgias-good-ol-boy-network-is-not-a-meritocracy/


Are you Georgia Republicans proud of that record ? 




SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar 

Well get more woman involved. It's a fact that qualified woman who get involved in politics have an equal chance of being elected. After all woman vote in pretty much equal numbers as men. Maybe most woman don't view gender as their determining consideration in who gets their vote.

ssinf
ssinf

You said it! Can't wait to use the phrase 'madam president' next January.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit 

Evidently, they put qualifications above gender. So, what then was your posts point about male domination in public office?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar  Evidently, they put qualifications above gender.


So there isnt one qualified female in this entire state ?


Do you know how incredibly stupid that sounds ?


I know stats like this are embarrassing but please. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit Stoopid reply, I think he was saying that when they run, they most often win.  But, if women choose not to soil themselves with politics, can't blame them for avoiding the slime can you, you can't expect to find many in political positions.  

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit 

With all due respect I think it's incredibly stupid to reference gender statistics in Georgia showing male domination in public office and then to declare how women outvote men by large numbers. Are you saying that women are stupid voters? Otherwise are you saying that woman pursue public office in much smaller numbers than men? If not for the latter how can you condemn the state or any state for a gender disparity?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar The problem is that....


you guys cant see the problem that all 33 top official in this state are men.


You think that just happens by accident ? Its BY DESIGN.


Just like the GOP being all white these days.


Enjoy

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit 

Well Hedy, you still haven't answered my question. When you say woman vote in greater numbers than men, how do you explain how the GOP limits their opportunities for electing woman to public office in Georgia. Guess the women vote is really a"nothingburger" to you.


Enjoy

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar I dont just say it


Its a fact. 53 to 47 % or about 6 % pts higher. Pretty big deal.


As to the second part I cant make sense of it. Do you not understand that women aren't even on the ballot ? That all 33 of those positions being held by men is a symptom of the problem. 

lvg
lvg

Olens must have challenged  Shady's right to force Revenue Dept. to avoid a 74 million dollar tax lien  for sales tax on his business when selling it for 3 million and $10,000 a month rent on the land. Can't be messin with guvrner Shady's bizness .

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Rasmussen; Trump 43% clinton 41%.


Deal with it.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @IReportYouWhine 

Practically all of the polls were way off in the 012 election. There's a much bigger cone of uncertainty in this one. That explains the desperate tabloid reporting attack from the WaPo, NYT and other msm organizations.