2007

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January

USG 75th Anniversary Noted

Chancellor Davis kicks off recognition of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia. “The System’s success is based upon the state’s wise and continued investment in improving the lives of Georgians through accessible, affordable public higher education,” Davis said. “For 75 years, the University System of Georgia has fulfilled its mission, thanks to the strong support of both the executive and legislative branch, and the dedication of the 182 individuals who have served on the Board of Regents, 11 chancellors and the many individuals who have served as institution presidents, faculty and staff.”

State of the System Address

Chancellor outlines key challenges for System: balancing access and retention; graduation rates; distance learning and educational technology; increasing efficiency and productivity; developing a System-based strategic focus and keeping pace with growth.

In his State of the System address, Chancellor Davis informs the Board of Regents that Georgia’s public higher education system is a “healthy, growing, dynamic enterprise.” Looking ahead, Davis noted a number of key challenges with which the board and System must deal in order to meet the overall goals of admitting, retaining, and graduating more students. These include: balancing access and retention; graduation rates; distance learning and educational technology; increasing efficiency and productivity; developing a System-based strategic focus and keeping pace with growth.

USG HERO Program Aids Military Personnel

The Georgia HERO (Helping Educate Reservists and their Offspring) Scholarship Program provides educational grant assistance to U.S. servicemen and women and their children. Started in March 2006, the program has awarded more than 200 scholarships totaling nearly $400,000. Thousands of Georgia residents who have seen combat while in the Georgia National Guard or the U.S. Military Reserves, as well as their offspring, may qualify to receive up to $8,000 each to attend college in the USG, the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education or an eligible private college or university.

New Regent Appointed

Gov. Sonny Perdue names James A. Bishop to the Board of Regents, representing the First Congressional District. Three regents, Julie Ewing Hunt (2nd District), Michael J. Coles (6th District), and the former chair of the Board of Regents, J. Timothy Shelnut (12th District), ended their terms.

February

Research Presentation to Legislative Committee

The presidents of the University System of Georgia’s four research universities and the president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Research Alliance make a presentation to state legislators on how the cutting-edge research being done within the USG is improving lives and fueling economic growth in Georgia.

Presidential Retirement

The president of Dalton State College, James A. Burran, announces that he will retire, effective Dec. 31, 2007. Burran served the University System in that capacity since 1995.

March

USG Foundation Awards for Excellence

The University System of Georgia Foundation honors former U.S. Senator Zell Miller with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his service to higher education in Georgia. The Third Annual Regents Awards for Excellence in Education Celebration also recognizes outstanding USG faculty and alumni and raisies $182,000 for student scholarships and faculty awards.

Georgia Military Education Initiative Launched

The USG steps up efforts to serve the educational needs of the U.S. military by launching the Georgia Military Education Initiative (MEI). A coordinated and synchronized System-wide approach will be used to expand the degree programs, courses and support services available to every branch of the military. The goal of the effort is to make it “Faster, Friendlier and Easier” for military personnel to get a USG college degree.

Georgia Aviation Technical College Merges with Middle Georgia College

The Board of Regents approves the transfer of Georgia Aviation and Technical College from the Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) to the University System. The aviation school becomes part of Middle Georgia College and assumes the Middle Georgia College name. The DTAE board previously approved the transfer during that body’s January meeting.

Olympic Dorms Transferred to Georgia Tech

The USG transfers Board of Regents-owned property from Georgia State University to the Georgia Institute of Technology. The property, located at North Avenue and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, includes residence halls originally built to house athletes participating in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, held in Atlanta.

April

System Holds Public Hearings on New State Law

Individuals and organizations have a chance to weigh in with comments on a USG policy interpretation of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act that would make students who are unable to document that they are lawfully present in the United States ineligible for in-state tuition rates. On July 1, 2007, the University System intends to have the appropriate policies in place to implement the Act. The public sessions are held at Dalton State College, Georgia Perimeter College, and in Tifton and Gainesville.

USG Receives Customer Service Recognition

The USG receives high marks for its support of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s ongoing initiative to improve customer service. Joe Doyle, director of the Governor’s Office of Customer Service, describes these efforts at the Board of Regents’ meeting and praises the efforts of Chancellor Davis and USG campuses, noting that “the visibility of the efforts of each institution in the University System were the highest of any entity in state government.”

USG Recognized in State Charitable Campaign

Units and campuses of the USG receive Governor’s Cups given out in three of the five categories of the 2006-2007 State Charitable Contributions Program as well as several other awards for charitable giving. Institutions and units awarded the Governor’s Cup are: the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

May

Regents Set Tuition, Continued Guaranteed Tuition Program

The Board of Regents reaffirms a commitment made in 2006 to provide a guaranteed tuition rate for incoming freshmen. Consequently, USG sophomores will see no tuition increase in fall 2007. The board approves new tuition rates for those students entering the System’s 35 institutions as freshmen this fall, as well as for those in their third year and beyond.

BOR Approves FY08 Budget

The USG’s FY08 budget includes a record $2.1 billion state appropriation, along with $276 million for construction and renovation of System facilities.

The board approves a University System budget containing a record $2.1 billion state appropriation, along with $276 million for construction and renovation of System facilities. The FY08 state appropriation to the University System represents a 10.5 percent increase over FY07. The board also approves budget allocations to the System’s 35 degree-granting institutions and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. “Our tuition and budget are driven by our policy objectives, which call for us to maintain affordability and access while providing predictability for students and parents,” said Chancellor Davis.

Presidential Appointments

The board names Dr. Earl G. Yarbrough Sr., full professor and former provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., as president of Savannah State University.

June

BOR Approves Changes to Regents’ Test

The Board of Regents approves recommendations on the Regents testing policy. The key changes include: timing and reporting of testing will be modified to test entering freshmen and to report Regents’ Test pass rates at 45 hours; institution officials may recommend a limited number of students for alternative testing methods; students who fail the Regents’ Test multiple times will receive more individualized attention and the USG will utilize both the Georgia High School Graduation Test and SAT scores to provide another assessment measure for students entering the University System.

USG Spring Enrollment Jumps

The USG posts a gain of 7,672 students from spring 2006 to spring 2007, enrolling just under 250,000 students. Enrollment in the state’s public colleges and universities grew 3.2 percent System-wide since spring 2006, when it was 242,275.

System Research, Contracts, Grants Increase

FY06 extramural funding to the USG totals $831 million – a 3.2 percent increase above FY05.

The Board of Regents hears a report on the System’s income for extramural funding that shows continued strong gains during FY06. University System institutions reported a total of $831,043,460 in funds received through grants and contracts for research, instruction and public service. The numbers represent a 3.2 percent increase above FY 05. The total represents a dollar increase of $25,681,296 over the amount reported for the last fiscal year. The report also details extramural income from sales of intellectual property at the five senior institutions in the University System. The FY06 total income from entrepreneurial activities such as inventions, software, copyrights and trademarks was $17,765,567. The five institutions producing the income included Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, the Medical College of Georgia, the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University.

BOR Elect Chair and Vice Chair

The board elects Regent Allan Vigil to a second consecutive one-year term as the board’s chair and Regent William H. Cleveland to a second consecutive one-year term as the board’s vice chair.

STEM Initiative Seeks to Boost Math/Science Teachers and Graduates

The board hears details of an action plan to increase the numbers of both students pursuing an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as the teachers who will prepare them. The plan, known by the acronym STEM, is aimed at preparing teachers to teach courses in these fields in the public schools. In partnership with Gov. Sonny Perdue, the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the USG will, through STEM, pursue a number of strategies divided into three interconnected categories: increase the number of K-12 students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; increase the number of college students who pursue the STEM disciplines and increase the number and quality of teachers prepared in science and mathematics.

Presidential Appointments

The board names Dr. Kendall A. Blanchard, former president of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., as president of Georgia Southwestern State University. The board votes to make an exception in this case to its policy excluding the interim president of an institution from consideration as the permanent president.

August

BOR Approves FY09 Budget Request

The Board of Regents approve a record $2.3 billion University System FY09 budget request. A key part of the request is aimed at addressing the state’s shortage of doctors, mathematicians and scientists as well as mathematics and science teachers. The budget request for the USG includes requests for $7.2 million to expand the Medical College of Georgia and $10 million for a Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) initiative as well as a request for $215 million to build needed facilities.

BOR Approves New Six-Point Strategic Plan

The USG’s new, six-point Strategic Plan will focus on building the system’s capacity to meet the needs of Georgia.

The board approves a new strategic plan for the USG comprised of six goals that focus on building the system’s capacity to meet the needs of Georgia. “This System has done an excellent job of creating broad educational opportunities for Georgians,” said Chancellor Davis. “But as we look to the future, our actions must be driven by broad policy designed to educate more Georgians to higher levels than at any time in our history. And we must act in ways that clearly demonstrate our willingness to be measured for performance and assure our funding partners of our prudent and efficient use of resources. This plan gives us the structure to increase the value we add to the state.”

The six strategic goals are:

  • Renew excellence in undergraduate education to meet students’ 21st century needs.
  • Create enrollment capacity in the University System to meet the needs of 100,000 additional students by 2020.
  • Increase the USG’s participation in research and economic development to the benefit of a global Georgia. Enhance and encourage the creation of new knowledge and basic research across all disciplines.
  • Strengthen the USG’s partnerships with the state’s other education agencies.
  • Maintain affordability so that money is not a barrier to participation in the benefits of higher education.
  • Increase efficiency by working as a system.

BOR Approves Fee Waiver for Active Duty Military

The board approves a measure waiving mandatory fees for any Georgia residents who have seen combat in recent years as active members of the Georgia National Guard or the U.S. Military Reserves. The waiver complements the System’s efforts to make it “Faster, Friendlier and Easier” for military personnel to obtain college degrees under the Georgia Military Education Initiative (MEI) launched in March 2007. The MEI is a coordinated System-wide approach to expanding the degree programs, courses and support services available to every branch of the military.

75th “Diamond Jubilee” Celebration at Capitol

The Board of Regents celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of the University System of Georgia during a ceremony at the State Capitol on Aug. 8. Governor Sonny Perdue is in attendance and presents a proclamation which, in part, states that, “The University System of Georgia has, for 75 outstanding years, fulfilled its mission of providing a strong, academically-excellent system of public higher education for all Georgians.”

September

Herbst Named USG Chief Academic Officer

Chancellor Davis appoints Dr. Susan Herbst as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer (EVC/CAO) for the USG. The EVC/CAO is responsible for meeting the academic needs of more than 260,000 students and approximately 10,000 University System faculty members. The position also provides leadership to the System’s comprehensive universities and to a division at the University System Office that includes academic programs and planning, faculty affairs, student affairs, international programs, teacher-education initiatives, strategic research and analysis, and information and instructional technology. The presidents of the 15 institutions in the System’s comprehensive university sector report to the EVC/CAO.

October

USG Facilities’ Needs Outlined Through 2014

Facilities needs through 2014 in the USG total $1.7 billion as identified by new Strategic Capital Model.

The Board of Regents approves a list of facilities needed throughout the System that calls for a total investment of $1.7 billion in general obligation bonds between 2008 and 2014 for a capital implementation program with more than 100 new construction, renovation, and infrastructure projects. Using the new capital-planning model, approved by the regents in 2006, the list addresses a fundamental element of the regents’ new Strategic Plan that has as its underlying theme the need to build capacity in the system in many key areas, including facilities, to accommodate enrollment significantly higher than the current 260,000 students.

Nursing Education Initiative Launched

The USG launches a Nursing Education Initiative with the distributon to 16 of its campuses of a total of $3 million in competitive grant awards for FY08. The initiative is in keeping with a strategic goal to increase the number of college graduates in the health professions.

New Online Education Effort Launched

The new website Georgia ONmyLINE is launched. The site provides access to a full array of distance-education offerings from the 35 colleges and universities in the USG, thus improving service to students, both within the System and at other institutions in Georgia and nationally.

USG Hosts International Education Summit

The University System hosts the International Education Summit at the Carter Center. Delegations of key leaders from each USG campus gather to shape the design of international education in Georgia, addressing the complex issues USG students will confront as they assume responsibility for the 21st century world.

Presidential Resignation

The president of Middle Georgia College, Dr. Richard J. Federinko, resigns effective Dec. 31, 2007. Federinko served the University System in that capacity since 2002.

November

System Enrollment Continues to Climb to Record High

Current enrollment in Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities stands at an all-time high of 270,022 students.

The USG’s enrollment numbers post a gain of 10,077students from fall 2006 to fall 2007, reflecting a steady growth in demand for higher education. The fall 2007 enrollment report shows that current enrollment in Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities stands at an all-time high of 270,022 students. The 3.9 percent increase over fall 2006 represents a more robust rise from modest percentage increases in recent years of 2.5 percent from fall 2005 to fall 2006 and 1.2 percent from fall 2004 to fall 2005.

Report Indicates USG Teacher Production Increasing

A report presented to the Board of Regents shows that the System’s production of new teachers has increased 44 percent over the past five years. The report also shows that USG-prepared teachers are retained by Georgia’s public school systems longer than those not prepared by the University System.

BOR Approves New OnLine Degree Programs

The board approves the first degrees to be added to the new Georgia ONmyLINE website specifically designed to target areas of high interest and/or critical need in Georgia. Accompanying these new programs is a quick-admit process that will allow eligible prospective students to be admitted and begin their program of study within a few weeks. Five institutions have committed resources and expertise to offer a number of fully online graduate teacher-education programs designed for the working adult. The courses are designed to be flexible and to grow in response to demand.

Presidential Retirements/Appointments

The president of Georgia State University, Dr. Carl V. Patton, will retire effective June 30, 2008. Patton served the University System in that capacity since 1992. The president of Valdosta State University, Dr. Ronald M. Zaccari, will retire effective June 30, 2008. Zaccari served the University System in that capacity since 2002.

The board approves the permanent appointment of Dr. Gary Allen McGaha Sr. as president of Atlanta Metropolitan College. The board votes to make an exception, in this case, to its policy of conducting a presidential search. The board also votes to make an exception, in this case, to its policy excluding the interim president of an institution from consideration as the permanent president. The board names Dr. John O. Schwenn, vice president for academic affairs at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan., as president of Dalton State College. Dr. Mary Ellen Wilson, currently vice president for academic affairs at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, is appointed to serve as the college’s interim president.

December

Presidential Retirement

The president of Coastal Georgia Community College, Dr. Dorothy L. Lord, will retire effective June 30, 2008. Lord served the University System in that capacity since 1991.

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