2008

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January

Presidential Search Committees

Valdosta State University presidential search committees were named. Regent Elridge W. McMillan will chair the Special Regents’ Search Committee. Regents Robert F. Hatcher, Doreen Stiles Poitevint, Benjamin J. Tarbutton III and Allan M. Vigil will serve as members of the committee.

Medical Expansion Plans

Report calls for expansion of physician education in Augusta, Athens, Albany and Savannah.

The Board of Regents received and subsequently accepted a report by Tripp Umbach, a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm retained by the Medical College of Georgia on behalf of the Board to expand medical education in Georgia. The plan calls for:

  • Significant Medical Education Expansion in Augusta – MCG’s School of Medicine will expand from its current class of 190 first-year students to 240 first-year students by 2017.

  • Development of a campus in Athens – MCG will develop a new campus in Athens in partnership with the University of Georgia and the two institutions will work together to leverage mutual strengths in biomedical research and individual university strengths in public health.

  • Continued Partnerships of regional campuses in Savannah and Albany – 60 third- and fourth-year students will be educated at residential campuses in Albany and Savannah over the next seven years.

The regents received the report during their meeting. Formal adoption and approval of the report was placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the board.

Chancellor “State of the System”

In his State of the System address, Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. cited strong enrollment growth, improvement in graduation rates and a continued focus on keeping college affordable as very positive signs of performance by University System of Georgia.

The creation and adoption by the board of a new Strategic Plan for the System during 2007 also was cited by the chancellor as a key accomplishment that will enable the System to “move to a higher level of performance and have this great enterprise capitalize on the power of a true system.”

But Davis also noted that while the academic mission and the faculty of the System’s 35 degree-granting institutions deserve high marks, the risk management of resources is not at the same level of quality and consequently will be an area of priority attention over the coming year. In acknowledging the tremendous support for the System from the Governor and the General Assembly for FY07, the Chancellor noted that System leaders must focus more closely on the management of those resources. He vowed to set and meet higher levels of transparency and accountability in the management of the System’s $5.6 billion annual budget.

Looking forward, Davis noted that he would continue to focus on three key areas: increasing access to college, maintaining affordability, and providing clear accountability to the public. The System’s responsibility to meet a growing shortage of physicians to treat Georgians also will be a top priority in the coming years.

Systemwide Project: Energy Management

The Regents heard recommendations contained in a Sustainable Energy Management Plan. The plan is an effort by a special energy task force to develop a long-term energy management strategy that can be adopted at each of the System’s 35 institutions. The plan would provide a formal framework to help institutions pursue efficiency and sustainability projects.

February

New Regent Named

Gov. Sonny Perdue names Kessel D. Stelling Jr., to the Board of Regents, representing the Sixth Congressional District.

Presidential Search Committees

The Georgia State University Presidential Search Committee was named. Members of committee, chaired by Regent William Cleveland, include Regents Kenneth Bernard, Jr., Robert Hatcher, Elridge McMillan, Willis Potts, Jr., Wanda Rodwell and Allan Vigil.

Middle Georgia College presidential search committees were named. Regent W. Mansfield Jennings Jr. will chair the Special Regents’ Search Committee. Regents Patrick S. Pittard, James A. Bishop and Allan Vigil will serve as members of the committee.

HBCU Presentation

The Regents heard a presentation on the System’s 3 HBCU’s from retired Savannah State University Professor Dr. Charles Elmore. The presentation, which detailed the rich history of Savannah State University (SSU), Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and Albany State University (ASU), coincided with Black History Month.

New International Baccalaureate Policy Approved

The Board of Regents approved a new academic policy that will give college credits to a student who scores well on end-of-course assessments for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. The credits allow USG freshmen to receive course credit for selected, basic college courses, and take more advanced level courses. High assessment scores on IB courses are a strong indicator of academic performance that is beyond that expected of typical high-school students.

Medical Expansion

The Board of Regents approved a resolution that commits the University System to a 60 percent expansion of physician education through the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) School of Medicine. The board’s action follows its earlier acceptance of a report calling for medical education expansion in Georgia. The proposed expansion would entail significant expansion in Augusta, which will continue to serve as the foundation for a single state-operated medical school.

March

Strategic Plan Website Debuts

The Board of Regents debuted a new website for its Strategic Plan. The site, accessible to both USG staff and the general public, provides detail on the Strategic Plan’s six goals and helps viewers track the progress of the various initiatives and programs developed to achieve the plan’s objectives.

Meeting Enrollment Growth

The regents heard a report prepared by USG staff that found that if current college-going patterns continue into 2020, the majority of the projected growth of an additional 100,000 new students for the University System would be in the greater Atlanta area. The report suggests that priorities for providing access to the USG in the Atlanta region should initially focus on two-year and state colleges, establishing small pilot sites in low-cost lease spaces following a multi-campus model, as well as exploring partnerships with senior institutions. Initial priorities for location should focus on areas west, south and north of Atlanta and Atlanta’s urban core.

USG Audits P-Cards

An audit covering FY07 is conducted by the University System of P-Card transactions at 33 of the System’s 35 institutions, as well as Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and the University System Office. Auditors conclude that there exists a lack of focus by staff on financial risk management and appropriate controls for the use of P-Cards. This, in turn, contributed to 22 identified cases of fraud out of the 8,435 P-Cards in use in the System. The report also found that the majority of problems with the program were not the result of fraud, but due to a lack of understanding of and training in the appropriate procedures for use of the cards by both managers and employees. The report’s recommendations include establishing appropriate P-Card procedures, increasing enforcement of compliance with applicable rules and regulations, and improving the monitoring of P-Card activity. While the report did find a number of structural problems with the System’s management of the P-Card program, auditors also found that a number of “significant changes” and new controls had been put in place subsequent to the fiscal year covered in the audit. Additional controls and processes will be implemented, said University System officials in response to the chancellor’s call for increased oversight of the program.

Clough to Leave Tech for Smithsonian

The Board of Governors of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C. announces that Dr. G. Wayne Clough, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is to become the Smithsonian’s 12th Secretary, effective July 1, 2008.

USG Foundation Gala Honors Isakson

The University System of Georgia Foundation honored U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his service to higher education in Georgia at the Fourth Annual Regents Awards for Excellence in Education Celebration. The foundation also recognized outstanding USG faculty and alumni, including former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell.

April

Board Approves FY09 Budget of $2.3 Billion

USG FY09 Budget of $2.3 billion is a 7.7 percent increase in state funding from FY08.

The Board of Regents approved a $2.3 billion FY09 budget. The budget reflects an increase in state appropriations from FY08 of $165 million, or 7.7 percent. Most of the increase in state appropriations (70 percent) is driven by the increase in student enrollment as well as increased costs for health and retiree benefits and maintenance and operations costs for facilities.

The regents approved a new guaranteed tuition rate, which fixes tuition at the same rate for four years, for fall 2008 freshmen students. The rates for these freshmen will remain constant through fall 2012.

Extramural Funding Hits $840 Million

The System’s income from extramural funding continued to increase during FY07. University System institutions reported a total of $840,620,228 in funds received through grants and contracts for research, instruction and public service for FY07. The numbers, provided to the board at the April meeting, represent a 1.1 percent increase over FY06. The total represents a dollar increase of $9,576,768 over the amount reported for the previous fiscal year. The report also showed a total income of $14,476,630 for FY07 from entrepreneurial activities such as inventions, software, copyrights and trademarks.

Coastal Georgia Has New Mission

The board approved a mission change for Coastal Georgia Community College, recommendations to increase access to the University System in southeast coastal Georgia and a plan to increase enrollment capacity in metropolitan Atlanta that was introduced at the board’s March meeting. Also approved at the April meeting, held at Columbus State University, was the adoption of new principles for international education.

Schuster Named Tech Interim President

A 14-year veteran of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Gary Schuster, who currently serves as Tech’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, is named the institution’s interim president, effective July 1, 2008. Schuster will serve as interim president until the chancellor and Board of Regents select a new president.

May

USG Recognized in State Charitable Contributions Program

The University System led the field at an awards ceremony honoring the state agencies that made the most notable contributions to the success of the 2007-2008 State Charitable Contributions Program (SCCP). The USG contributed $1.3 million of the $2.7 million contributed by all state employees to designated charities during the campaign. Two University System institutions won Governor’s Awards. The award for the “Largest Increase in Contributions” to the SCCP among USG campuses went to Georgia Tech, which saw an increase of more than $88,000, or 42 percent, in its contributions since the 2006-2007 SCCP campaign. The award for the “Highest Level of Employee Participation” in the campaign among the USG’s campuses went to Atlanta Metropolitan College – 69 percent of approximately 175 employees donated to the charities of their choice through the SCCP.

Weisenbach Named New P-16 Head

Dr. E. Lynne Weisenbach, currently the dean of education and founding Executive Director of the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis, has been appointed vice chancellor for P-16 Initiatives for the University System of Georgia (USG), effective Aug. 1. Weisenbach will succeed Dr. Jan Kettlewell, who will retire on Sept. 30 after 13 years of leadership of the University System’s P-16 initiatives.

Hepburn Named Coastal Georgia Interim President

Dr. Valerie A. Hepburn, currently assistant dean of the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health, is appointed interim president of Coastal Georgia Community College (CGCC) in Brunswick, effective July 1, 2008. The announcement comes as CGCC President Dorothy L. Lord prepares to retire on June 30, 2008, after 17 years of service.

June

Regents Elect New Leadership

The Board of Regents elected Regent Richard L. Tucker to a one-year term (July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009) as the Board’s chairperson. Tucker was appointed in January 2005 to the Board of Regents by Gov. Sonny Perdue to represent the Seventh Congressional District.

The board elected Regent Robert F. Hatcher to a one-year term (July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009) as the board’s vice chair. Hatcher was appointed to an at-large position on the Board of Regents by Gov. Sonny Perdue in January 2006.

New Presidents Named at Columbus and Valdosta

The board named Dr. Patrick J. Schloss, president of Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, as president of Valdosta State University and Dr. Timothy S. Mescon, dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, as president of Columbus State University.

Update ICAPP Economic Impact Study Released

System’s economic impact on Georgia hits $11 billion, finds new ICAPP sponsored study.

An updated report offers confirmation that Georgia’s public university system continues to be one of the state’s key economic engines. Together, the 35 institutions packed an economic impact totaling $11 billion on the state’s economy during Fiscal Year 2007.

The Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP), an initiative of the Board of Regents’ Office of Economic Development, commissioned the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business to analyze data collected between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, to calculate the University System’s FY07 economic impact. This work updates a similar study conducted on FY2004 data that placed the University System’s economic impact at $9.7 billion. The first such study calculated the USG’s impact at $7.7 billion in FY99. In addition to the $11 billion in total impact generated by the University System in FY07, the study determined that Georgia’s public higher education system is responsible for 106,267 full- and part-time jobs – 2.6 percent of all the jobs in the state or about one job in 39.

Two-year College Pilot Admissions Policy Extended

The board voted to extend by three years a pilot admissions policy that, when first implemented in fall 2005, removed standardized tests as a criteria for admission to the USG’s two-year and state colleges. With the board action, however, the USG’s state colleges will have the option to resume requiring SAT/ACT scores for applicants seeking four-year baccalaureate degrees.

Name Change for Coastal Georgia

The board approved the name change for Coastal Georgia Community College to the College of Coastal Georgia, reflecting its new status as one of the System’s eight state colleges. The college will offer a limited number of baccalaureate degrees in the areas of education, nursing and business, careers that are in demand in the college’s service area.

Shared Services Strategy Received Board Green Light

Shared Services will unify and consolidate USG’s separate and unconnected business functions.

The board approved a new “shared services” strategy that will provide administrators throughout the System’s 35 public colleges and universities with a new model to handle key business operations. The shared services concept is a result of the Board of Regents strategic plan and is designed to unify and consolidate the System’s separate and unconnected business functions throughout its colleges and universities. The concept supports the Board of Regents strategic goal of having the USG operate more efficiently while providing greater risk management of the state’s assets and dollars. The first phase of the shared services strategy is to consolidate payrolls across the institutions. System officials will accomplish this through a partnership with ADP, a national provider of transaction processing and information-based business solutions for payroll. ADP will provide the USG with a consolidated HR/Payroll system that will facilitate paperless processing of time sheets, and benefits enrollment for employees. Planning and development of the new system gets underway in July 2008, and ADP officials project the new system will be in operation by July 2009.

July

New President for Middle Georgia College

Dr. W. Michael Stoy, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Gainesville State College, is named as president of Middle Georgia College. Stoy will assume his new post in August.

Georgia Tech Presidential Search Committee Named

Board Chair Richard Tucker announces the appointment of the Georgia Institute of Technology Presidential Search Committee. Chair of the search committee is Regent Willis Potts, who is joined by seven other regents and 12 other individuals representing Georgia Tech faculty, staff, students and alumni as well as the community.

August

Regents Approve FY10 Budget Request

FY10 Budget Request includes $115M in new formula funds; $8M for medical expansion, and contingency plans for reductions of 6, 8 and 10 percent.

The regents approve a FY10, $2.45 billion budget request, a 6.5 percent increase over the current FY09 budget. The state’s declining tax revenues indicate possible reductions. Accordingly, the regents also approved proposals for possible reductions to this request of 6 percent ($136 million), 8 percent ($182 million) and 10 percent ($228 million), following instructions from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. All three reduction proposals also apply to the current Fiscal Year 2009 budget. The FY10 request by the regents includes $114.7 million in new dollars generated by the funding formula that reflects a 3. 9 percent increase from fall 2006 to fall 2007 in student enrollment ($79.4 million), health insurance premium increases ($20 million), new retiree benefits ($5.7 million) and operating funds for new facilities ($9.6 million). The request also includes $8 million to continue efforts, begun in FY08 with state appropriations, to address the growing shortage of physicians in Georgia. Funds would be used to develop needed curriculum, pursue program accreditation and expand residencies in Athens, Albany and Savannah.

Student Survey Results Announced

Results of a survey of USG student attitudes on academic freedom are released. Students were asked about academic quality, free speech, and discussion. The survey also collected information on partisanship, political and social views, religious orientation and other student population characteristics. Findings indicated that students holding a wide range of social, political and religious beliefs populate Georgia’s public college campuses. Overall, students are pleased with their academic experiences. Some students admit to low participation in student organizations and feel as though their fellow students should be more respectful of differing viewpoints.

New Online Degrees for Career-Changers

The board approves an online graduate teaching degree that targets career-changers – people with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics, one of the sciences or in related fields who are ready to do something different – and also those already teaching who wish to add certification in mathematics or one of the sciences. The online master of arts in teaching (MAT) degree will offer degree seekers teacher certification in either mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics or earth/space science beginning in January 2009. Columbus State University, Kennesaw State University and the University of West Georgia will offer the degree. Beginning in Fall 2010, Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University also will offer the degree.

September

Retirements

The president of Armstrong Atlantic State University, Dr. Thomas Z. Jones, will retire effective June 30, 2009. Jones served the University System in that capacity since 2000.

University System of Georgia vice chancellor for P-16 Initiatives, Dr. Jan Kettlewell retired in late September. Kettlewell served the University System in that capacity since 1995.

October

Regents Approve Budget Reductions

The board approves a six percent budget reduction for the 35 System institutions for FY09 totaling $136 million.

Regents Name New President for Georgia State University

The board announces the appointment of Dr. Mark P. Becker, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, as the seventh president of Georgia State University.

Regents Teaching Excellence Awards Announced

Five University System of Georgia faculty members and one academic department are recipients of the annual Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards.

  • Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards (Individual):

    • Two-Year & State Colleges: Dr. Christy Price, professor of psychology, Division of Social Sciences, Dalton State College.
    • Regional & State Universities: Dr. Carol Barnum, professor of information design/technical communication,
    • Department of English, Technical Communication & Media Arts, Southern Polytechnic State University.
    • Research Universities: Dr. Balasubramaniam Ramesh, Board of Advisors professor of computer information systems, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.
  • Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards (Department/ Program):

    • Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University.
    • Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Awards:
    • Dr. Charles H. Atwood, professor of chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia.
    • Dr. Matthew Laposata, associate professor of environmental science, Department of Biology and Physics, Kennesaw State University.

November

USG Enrollment Hits Record High of 283,000 Students

USG enrollment hits record high of 283,000 students in fall 2008 - a 4.8 percent increase from fall 2007.

System enrollment reaches an all-time high approaching 283,000 students. The overall numbers represent a gain of 12,956 students from fall 2007, or an increase of 4.8 percent. To put the gains in perspective, the system has grown by 32,319 students, or 12.9 percent, in the last five years.

New USG Ethics Policy Approved

The board approves a revision to its policy manual that establishes for the first time a unified ethics policy for the University System of Georgia. The policy states the underlying core values that each member of the USG community must adhere to and be guided by – integrity, excellence, accountability and respect. It also spells out a code of conduct for all members of the University System community.

Presidential Retirement

The president of Georgia Southern University, Dr. Bruce Grube, will step down as president effective June 30, 2009. Grube served the University System in that capacity since 1999.

December

Board Approves New Budget Reduction Measures

To meet Governor Sonny Perdue’s calls to state agencies for additional FY09 budget reduction, the regents approve reduction plans agreed upon in August. The new reductions include both USG employees and students. A change in health benefit plans for USG employees reduces the employer contribution rate for health insurance for the System’s PPO and HMO health plans from 75 percent to 70 percent. The board also approves as a temporary fee for all USG students: $100 at research and some comprehensive universities; $75 at the remaining comprehensive universities, and $50 at two-year colleges.

Presidential Resignation

The president of Clayton State University, Dr. Thomas K. Harden, announces his plans to resign effective June 30, 2009. Harden served the University System in that capacity since 2000.

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