Fuchko filling important roles for state’s education system, Department of Defense
To say that John Fuchko ’00 has been keeping busy since his graduation from Kennesaw State University is quite an understatement. Fuchko, who received a Bachelor of Science in political science from KSU with magna cum laude honors, presently is filling important roles for both the state’s public higher education system, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), and Army National Guard, a part of the Georgia Department of Defense.
In August 2016, Fuchko was named to his current position of vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness with the USG after serving as chief audit officer/vice chancellor for internal audit for nearly seven years. He started working for the USG in July 2006 and began his career as a principal analyst with the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts.
Fuchko’s current role is very complex and involves many aspects associated with running a government agency that includes 28 institutions of higher learning. The focus of organizational effectiveness, an administration division, is providing support to institutions throughout the system while identifying new opportunities, improvements and capabilities to further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s academic programs, leaders, faculty, staff and students. Specifically, some of those areas include the review of intercollegiate athletic programs, campus consolidations, enterprise risk management, ethics and compliance program, and management reviews.
Before starting as a full-time employee of the USG, Fuchko was exposed to the agency while serving as Student Government Association (SGA) president during his senior year at Kennesaw State in 1999-2000. At the same time, he was chair of the Student Advisory Council to the Board of Regents, a group of SGA representatives from each of the state’s institutions.
“That allowed me to have the opportunity to meet the regents; I talked with them, presented to them,” Fuchko said of his student experience with the USG. “I met the chancellor, Chancellor (Stephen R.) Portch, and some of the other system office staff.”
Following his graduation from KSU, Fuchko earned a Master of Business Administration at Georgia State University in 2003. His education also includes a certificate from the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute (2011) and a Master of Science in strategic intelligence from National Intelligence University (2013).
“I went on to get my master’s and also commissioned in the Army National Guard as an officer, and worked for the state auditor,” Fuchko said. “I was actually overseas on deployment when I decided I wanted to transition over to working for the university system, in their internal audit shop, in 2006.”
At Kennesaw State, Fuchko enjoyed the education he received and was engaged in many activities.
“I think the classroom learning was really important, but I also was very involved as a student,” Fuchko said. “I was editor-in-chief of the (student) newspaper (The Sentinel) and then went on to become the student government president. I got a good view of how institutions function and things that are important in the world of higher education, and why it’s important.”
KSU’s Student of the Year as a senior, Fuchko was a 2000 spring commencement speaker and later spoke at fall convocation in 2006. He once served as vice president of the KSU Alumni Association, which he was a part of from 2004-10.
Within his family, Fuchko has many connections to Kennesaw State.
“My wife is a double Owl. She did her master’s there, as well as an undergrad,” Fuchko said. “One of her sisters is a KSU alum, two of my sisters are KSU alums, and I’ve got one other sister who is attending there now. My dad was in the first MBA graduating class from Kennesaw back in the ’80s.”
Fuchko’s wife, Sherie (Lipham) Fuchko ’98, ’02, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Public Administration from KSU. Like her husband, she is a former opinion editor and editor-in-chief of The Sentinel. The couple keeps busy with their 11 children.
Presently, Fuchko’s sister, Rebekah Fuchko, is serving as opinion editor for Kennesaw State’s student newspaper.
Outside of his involvement with higher education and parenting, Fuchko is extremely dedicated to the military. Fuchko, a major who is promotable, assumed command of the Georgia Army National Guard’s 221st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion (EMIB) during a ceremony in early May at Fort Gillem in Forest Park. He began his career with the Army National Guard 16 years ago and has held multiple leadership positions with the 221st EMIB.
“I’ve done two different tours of duty over in the Middle East, the most recent one I actually got back a little more than a year ago in March (of 2016),” said Fuchko, who filled the role of deputy commander of the battalion task force when it deployed in 2015. He also was awarded a Bronze Star for his service as a military intelligence officer in Iraq from 2005-06.
When he started with the Georgia Army National Guard, Fuchko was a new alumnus of Kennesaw State with ambitions other than working in higher education.
“Back then, I thought maybe I’d go into the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) or FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and wouldn’t that be fun,” Fuchko said. “A path to get into one of those is military intelligence, so I thought I’d do that. Fast forward, I’m not in the CIA or FBI but I’ve got some experiences from the military where there are no comparisons. It’s just a very different world when you’re flying overseas or operating in a combat zone.”
Even with all of that going on in Fuchko’s life, he still finds time to be active in the community with church activities, among other things. Currently, he is president of the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute and in the past, he held the same title and later was chairman of the board for the Atlanta Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Additionally, he served as treasurer of The HOPE Center from 2004-08.
It is quite easy to see that Fuchko is indeed making a name for himself in many areas throughout the state. He certainly is a fine representative of KSU and making a difference across Georgia.