Jerry L. Hardee, Ed.D.

Dr. Jerry L. Hardee was elected to serve as sixteenth president of Paine College during the meeting of the Board of Trustees in April 2017.

A lifelong educator, Dr. Hardee, began his career as a teacher in Waycross, GA. His administrative career began when he became a principal and Title I Gifted Program coordinator in the Garfield School District in Maywood, Illinois, in 1970.  He has spent the past quarter-century as an executive administrator at three different institutions in the University System of Georgia. He demonstrated his commitment to education by coming out of retirement in 1999 to serve as the third President of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in 2001 and the first African American to serve as President of an accredited chiropractic college. After retiring as President, he stayed on for two years as Chancellor and was later inducted in the Sherman College Hall of Fame in 2007. Once again, he came out of retirement in 2007 to serve as Dean for the College of Undergraduate Studies at Life University in Marietta, GA. He retired as Special Assistant to the President at Life University in 2016.

Dr. Hardee served in a number of administrative capacities, including Vice President for Academic Affairs at Albany State, Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs and Multicultural Affairs and Professor of Educational Leadership at Valdosta State (Ga.) University, and Director of Institutional Advancement at Fort Valley State (GA) University. He has been involved in educational administration for more than 50 years.

He holds a Doctorate degree in Education; a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University, a Master’s degree in Science Education from Fisk University and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry from Clark College. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of Chiropractic Humanities by Sherman College in 2007.  He is also a product of the Glynn County public schools in Brunswick, GA.

Dr. Hardee has authored several published articles on various topics in education.  He is a skilled presenter and has conducted a number of engaging workshops on topics ranging from the recruitment and retention of minority students and workforce diversity to racism on college campuses and understanding the distinction between race, culture and class.

Dr. Hardee is a member of the Educational Research Association and the American Association of College and University Administrators, as well as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Big Brother/Big Sisters. He is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Project Change-Valdosta, an anti-racism initiative. He was honored with the Georgia Distinguished Service Award and invited to Washington by then-President Clinton to receive the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership on behalf of the Levi Strauss Foundation.  He was recently named to The Colloquium of Scholars by the Martin Luther King Jr., International College of Ministers and Laity at Morehouse College, and the Candle in the Dark Honoree for 2015, by the Lowndes County-Valdosta Martin Luther King Committee.

He is active in Kiwanis International, where he chairs the Sponsored Youth Committee. He also served on the Advisory Board of the University of South Carolina Spartanburg (USCS) College of Education.

In his role as consultant and advisor to presidents, Dr. Hardee has been meeting extensively with students, faculty and health care profession advisors at HBCUs to inform them of the opportunities available in chiropractic and the academic background needed for admission to a chiropractic college. In a profession historically populated by white practitioners, Dr. Hardee will continue to be an advocate for workforce pipelines that foster appointments of African Americans to highly visible leadership roles that will impact the growth of minority interest in the field.

Dr. Hardee is a devoted member of Bethel CME Church in Valdosta, where he teaches the adult Sunday school class and is chair of the Board of Trustees. He is married to Wyonnie Thomas Hardee, a retired elementary school teacher in Valdosta. Their son, Sidney Curtis Hardee, owns an investment company in New York City.