By Maria Saporta
Few people realized how many institutions of higher learning were clustered in metro Atlanta until Mike Gerber came to town 14 years ago.
Gerber, who has been serving as president of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) since 1998, announced via email that he is resigning his position effective June 30.
“It has been a great pleasure to serve ARCHE and its member colleges and universities,” Gerber wrote. “When I arrived in 1998, the Atlanta region did not fully realize the extraordinary asset it has in its higher education institutions.
“We have worked hard to increase collaboration among the campuses and to define and communicate their collective scope, impact and value,” Gerber continued. “As a result, state and regional leaders today have a better appreciation of the resources and competitive edge ARCHE members bring to the state of Georgia.”
Gerber, who has worked in the higher education field for 36 years in Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia, plans to launch a consulting firm in Atlanta to focus on building initiatives that leverage the strengths of higher education, business and civic sectors.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity the ARCHE presidents have given me to represent what I believe is one of the most distinguished assemblies of colleges and universities to be found anywhere in America,” Gerber said. “Looking ahead, I intend to continue and grow the relationships I have enjoyed over the years with so many good colleagues and friends on the campuses and across the region and state.”
ARCHE represents 20 public and private colleges and universities in the greater Atlanta area. Its members also include five affiliated libraries and 12 corporate and nonprofit community partners.
Gerber’s email did not address ARCHE’s plans to find his successor. Mark Becker, president of Georgia State University, currently is serving as the board chair of ARCHE.