COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Kennesaw State University's president has announced he will step down early next year.
KSU President Sam Olens will leave his position as president beginning February 15, according to a statement from the Board of Regents.
The announcement comes after weeks of criticism of Olens' handling of a protest by some KSU cheerleaders. Olens wouldn't allow the cheerleaders on the field for the National Anthem after some of them kneeled for the anthem at a September football game.
While Olens reversed his decision last month, the board ruled he was wrong by not allowing the cheerleaders on the field.
Last week, protestors called for Olens' removal as KSU president.
Olens released a statement saying in part, "Challenges to the institution were evident as I began my tenure and these trails coupled with internal trepidations, made for a very difficult start."
Now, the Board of Regents will begin what they call a nationwide search for Olens' replacement.
Dr. Ken Harmon, who serves as provost and vice president for KSU's academic affairs, has been named the interim president.