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State of the System

In her State of the System address, Interim Chancellor Corlis Cummings highlights progress on the Board of Regent’s four-point action plan. She praises the efforts to increase African-American male participation in System colleges and the award of $400,000 in grants to 10 campuses. She notes record extramural funding of $980.6 million. She also credits the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program with a $7 million effort to add more than 300 nurses and technologists to Georgia’s workforce over the next two years.

Retention and Graduation Efforts

The board hears an update on the initiative to boost retention, progression and graduation rates. The initiative focuses on six areas: institutional targets and plans; best practices; financial and economic incentives to overcome barriers to persistence; effectiveness of the System’s general education and core curriculum; impact of student engagement on success; and data development and mining to correlate student characteristics with success rates.

Economic Impact Study

The System’s estimated economic impact is $23.3 billion – 1.5 times the total state budget.

The board hears information generated by the task force on the University System of Georgia’s economic impact, student success, and facilities financing. The study, based on the latest comprehensive data set, shows that the System’s estimated economic impact is $23.3 billion – 1.5 times the total state budget. The economic calculation is based on four components: System expenditures totaling $9.9 billion; $2.9 billion in outreach to increase the state’s economic competitiveness; income differences of $10.5 billion generated by 350,000 System graduates living in Georgia, compared to the average salary of high school graduates; and 130,000 jobs attributable to the University System.

Facilities – GHEFA Legislation

Plans to introduce legislation in the 2006 General Assembly to create a Georgia Higher Education Facilities Authority are presented. The legislation would help both the USG and the Department of Technical and Adult Education keep pace with the rising demand for new facilities around the state.

USG Foundation Awards for Excellence

The University System of Georgia Foundation bestows a “Lifetime Achievement Award” on retired legislator and university administrator Dr. Louise McBee and honors outstanding USG faculty and alumni during the Second Annual Regents Awards for Excellence in Education Celebration.

New Regents

Three new regents begin service on the Board of Regents, Robert F. Hatcher, Felton Jenkins (both At-Large members) and Benjamin Tarbutton III (12th Congressional District).


Erroll Davis Becomes 11th Chancellor

Chancellor Davis states that his administration will emphasize accountability to citizens for the University System’s performance.

The Board of Regents welcome Erroll B. Davis Jr. to his first meeting as the 11th Chancellor of the University System. In his first formal remarks to the board, Chancellor Davis states that his administration will emphasize accountability to citizens for the University System of Georgia’s performance, which is ultimately measured by its impact on students and society. Key priorities will be improving the retention and graduation of students and expanding the System’s role in economic development. Davis begins his tours of USG institutions with a visit to the Lanette L. Suttles Child Development Center on the campus of Georgia State University. His goal is to visit all 35 campuses during his first four months.

New Capital Model

The board adopts a new set of seven principles to guide in evaluating and prioritizing the System’s major capital project requests from campuses. The seven principles are:

  • Capital investment will support the University System’s strategic plan and its statewide mission.
  • Capital investment will implement the strategic mission and goals of USG institutions.
  • Capital will be allocated within a comprehensive program of integrated projects prioritized in adherence to systematic physical planning and sound financial models.
  • Capital investment will be economically and environmentally sustainable, promote optimal stewardship of existing state resources and have a superior long-term benefit/cost ratio.
  • Capital investment should meet the following criteria to the greatest extent possible: increase quality of instruction, research and/or public service; maintain or increase capacity (as strategically warranted); enhance regulatory compliance; and enhance productivity and operating efficiency.
  • Capital investment should enhance output to geographic areas and in occupations and technologies that support state workforce needs and economic development goals.
  • State capital investment should be leveraged and enhanced by external funds at a rate appropriate to the characteristics of the individual institution, program, and project.

Student Surveys

The board hears a summary of key elements of the 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) which measure institutional factors that affect the quality of students’ academic experience and success. The survey found that 82 percent of System freshmen and 80 percent of seniors would attend the same institution if they could start over again, and 86 percent of respondents had “a good or excellent educational experience.” CCSSE recognizes “top performers” in benchmark areas. Two institutions were cited: Gainesville State College for student faculty interaction, and Georgia Perimeter College for student effort.

Presidential Appointments

The board names Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida A&M University, in Tallahassee, Fla., as president of Fort Valley State University and Dr. Daniel Papp, USG Senior Vice Chancellor for Academics and Fiscal Affairs, as president of Kennesaw State University.


New Online Nursing Programs

The Board of Regents approves requests by three System institutions to offer existing nursing degrees online and at other campuses in response to the nursing shortage. These external degree programs project a total of 375 graduates: the Medical College of Georgia’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, offered online and at nine USG campuses; Georgia State University’s Ph.D. with a Major in Nursing, offered online; Darton College’s A.S. in Nursing, offered online and through video conferences and collaborative software.


Record State Appropriation for FY2007

Chancellor Davis reports the General Assembly approved a record $1.93 billion state appropriation to the University System. He feels strongly that budgets should be policy-implementing documents. The regents will be using this budget to implement directional changes. A part of the new budget, $24 million, will be allocated to meet enrollment growth by funding 250 additional faculty and increasing student support services; $2.2 million will be used to enhance retention, progression, and graduation rates; $2.3 million to respond to the need for more nurses; $1.5 million to increase efficiency and productivity in System operations; and $500,000 to increase access and services to students by opening Georgia Gwinnett College. The System received a total of $310 million in bond funding: $60 million in major repair and renovation funds; $89.3 million for 4 major capital outlay projects; $87.1 million for 20 minors projects; $11.6 million for 8 GPLS projects; $38 million for the nanotechnology project, and $24 million for GRA projects.

Guaranteed Tuition Plan Adopted

New “Fixed for Four” tuition policy guarantees tuition for four years

The Board of Regents approves the Guaranteed Tuition Plan. The guarantee provides families with a fixed rate for college expenses to assist in their planning. The guarantee also gives students a financial incentive to earn a bachelor’s degree within the four-year limit.

Presidential Resignation

The president of Atlanta Metropolitan College, Dr. Harold E. Wade, announces that he will step down from his post, effective Dec. 31, 2006. Wade served the University System in that capacity since 1994.


Two-Year College Mission Changes; Doctorate at KSU

The regents approve mission changes for three, two-year colleges, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Middle Georgia College and Gordon College, allowing them to offer specified baccalaureate degree programs in agriculture, aviation and education, respectively. The institutions will retain their two-year college access missions. Kennesaw State University also is approved to offer the first doctorate in its 43-year history.

New Financial Reporting Processes

Chancellor Davis informs the board that financial reporting for the System and its institutions will be revised to focus more on forecasting and the need for earlier managerial intervention and less on historical accounting in an effort to integrate financial reporting with a robust risk management system.

Presidential Appointments

The Board of Regents held a special meeting to reaffirm earlier actions to appoint Dr. David C. Bridges, assistant dean of the Tifton Campus of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, as president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Dr. Torri Lilly, provost and vice president of the Citrus County Campus of Central Florida Community College in Lecanto, Fla., as president of South Georgia College.


Guaranteed Tuition Plan Refined

The Board of Regents approves policy revisions defining the terms of the new guaranteed tuition program. According to the policy, University System institutions will establish their own processes for students appealing extenuating circumstances and will also have the authority to decide if some degree programs require a longer guarantee period.

Health Professions Task Force Report Released

The full report of the Task Force on Health Professions is presented to the board. Recommendations are for System-level approaches in three areas: coordination and accountability for health professions education; strategic policies for faculty recruitment and retention in the health fields; and a coordinated System-wide approach to updating and integrating curricula and enhancing technology based delivery systems.

Chancellor Davis Completes System Tour

Chancellor Davis concluded his tour of the USG on June 16, marking the end of a 36-site statewide trek that began during his first week on the job and wound around the Legislative Session and monthly Board of Regents’ meetings. The tour was completed during his first 100 days in office.

BOR Elects Chair and Vice Chair for FY07

The board elects Regent Allan Vigil to a one-year term as chair serving through June 30, 2007 and Regent William H. Cleveland to a one-year term as vice chair.


Davis Reorganizes System Office

Chancellor Davis reorganizes the University System Office, to focus all operations under three senior executives. The new organizational structure includes a chief academic officer, a chief operating officer, and a chief of staff, to whom the operating units of the University System Office will report. In addition, the 35 University System of Georgia presidents will have varied reporting relationships. Davis says the new streamlined organization will be more efficient and will allow for more effective interaction and communication with USG presidents.


Chairman Outlines Agenda

Regent Vigil makes the creation of a new strategic plan for the System his top prioriity during his year as Board Chair.

Presiding at his first board meeting as chair, Regent Vigil lines up the agenda for the year, beginning with assessing and updating the existing strategic plan within six months. A core goal of the plan will be to help the USG operate more as a unified system than a confederation of campuses. The focus on accountability will continue with high-priority attention on retention, progression, and graduation rates.

International Education Efforts Receive Federal Funds

The USG’s Office of International Education receives a $547,000 grant that will support a three-year comprehensive and statistically valid assessment of what students learn and how they benefit academically when they study abroad. The federal grant, one of 21 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s International Research and Studies Program, will provide additional funds to expand an existing USG research project, the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative, or GLOSSARI.

Regents Approve FY08 Budget Request

The FY08 operating budget request totaling $2 billion in state appropriations, and a Capital Request totaling $285 million in cash and bonds is approved by the board. Reflecting an increase of 5.7 percent, or $111 million, over FY07, the request includes $38.7 million for the Georgia Public Library Service, an increase of 1.9 percent. The board also approved a $10.87 million request for new construction, renovations or additions at eight public libraries, over and above the University System’s $285 million capital request. The overall FY08 operating budget request is $2.04 billion, an increase of $80.1 million, or 5.6 percent over FY07. The capital budget request is $250 million, for 4 major capital projects and 13 minor capital projects. The request for funding of the major repair and rehabilitation (“MRR”) fund is $70 million, up from last year’s $60 million. Additionally, the request calls for funding one-half the MRR fund amount, $35 million, in the form of a general fund appropriation to facilitate the expenditure of funds for critical institutional needs.

Presidential Appointments

The board names Dr. David Palmer, president of Andrew College, in Cuthbert, Ga., as president of Waycross College and Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli, president of West Hills College, in Coalinga, Calif., as president of Georgia Perimeter College.


Davis Inaugurated as USG’s 11th Chancellor

Academic quality, affordabillity and access are themes of Chancellor Davis in his inaugural address.

Chancellor Davis set the tone for his administration in the inaugural address following his investiture as the 11th chancellor of the USG in ceremonies conducted by Gov. Sonny Perdue and Board Chair Allan Vigil. The historic ceremony, formally installing him as head of the state’s 35 public colleges and universities, was held at the Georgia State Capitol’s House chamber. During his remarks, the new chancellor made clear his priorities for the System’s future, by focusing on issues of academic quality, affordability and access. “The heart of our enterprise and our primary mission is teaching our students,” Davis stated. “That mission must be strengthened in order for the academy to remain relevant and responsive to the needs of our students and the state.”

System Projects Launched

The Board of Regents hears a report on 10 initial System-wide projects, each led by an institutional president. Grouped into three broad categories the projects will focus on: academics, economic development and operations. The 10 projects include the following:

  1. Develop early outreach programs to students in at-risk situations to convince them to prepare for college.
  2. Address a middle school focus for the African-American Male Initiative.
  3. Develop more K-12 students interested in math, science, and engineering and teachers ready to teach in these fields.
  4. Improve access of low-income students to college education.
  5. Improve retention and graduation rates.
  6. Enhance student advising.
  7. Enhance the health professions.
  8. Improve enrollment management and planning.
  9. Enhance professional development of faculty and staff.
  10. Improve capabilities related to energy management and cost efficiencies.


Teacher Preparation “Work in the Schools” Program Approved

The Regents approve a “Work in the Schools” policy to strengthen the importance of teacher preparation programs by recognizing and rewarding faculty who are involved in K-12 teacher education and school improvement initiatives. The policy states that recognition will come through “decisions in promotion and tenure, pre-tenure and post-tenure review, annual review and merit pay, workload, recognition, allocation of resources and other rewards.”

Graduate Tuition and Guaranteed Tuition Policy Updated

The Board of Regents approves minor refinements to policies governing graduate tuition rates and the new Guaranteed Tuition Plan for the System’s colleges and universities. The board was informed that its approval in June of the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, which provides students and their parents with greater predictability in planning for college costs and encourages on-time graduation, necessitated changing how graduate tuition rates are determined by the institutions. Prior to the approval of the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, graduate rates were based on a percentage of the undergraduate rates.

Presidential Resignations

The president of Georgia Southwestern State University, Dr. Michael L. Hanes, resigns effective January 16, 2007. Hanes served the University System in that capacity since 1996. The president of Savannah State University, Dr. Carlton E. Brown, resigns effective December 31, 2006. Brown served the University System in that capacity since 1997.


BOR Endorses New Strategic Capital Model

USG new Strategic Capital Model is data driven, based upon enrollment, square footage, the age and condition of current facilities, as well as the System’s strategic priorities.

The Board of Regents endorses the new Strategic Capital Model. The new allocation model is data driven, based upon each institution’s current enrollment, anticipated enrollment growth, square footage, the age and condition of current facilities, as well as the System’s strategic priorities. The model targets funding for a multi-year Capital Implementation Program, allowing campus officials to decide which individual projects best implement campus and System objectives.

USG Posts Another Year of Record Enrollment

The USG’s enrollment numbers post a gain of 6,393 students from fall 2005 to fall 2006, reflecting a steady growth in demand for higher education. The fall 2006 enrollment report shows that current enrollment in Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities stands at an all-time high of 259,945 students. The 2.5 percent increase over fall 2005 represents a surge from more modest percentage increases in recent years of 1.2 percent from fall 2004 to fall 2005 and 1.5 percent from fall 2003 to fall 2004.

Presidential Appointments

Dr. Kendall A. Blanchard, former president of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., is appointed to serve as the interim president of Georgia Southwestern State University and Dr. Julius Scott, distinguished and nationally recognized administrator and academician, is appointed to serve as the interim president of Savannah State University. Dr. Gary Allen McGaha Sr., vice president for academic affairs at Atlanta Metropolitan College, is appointed to serve as the college’s interim president.

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