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Eight USG Institutions Recommended for Consolidation

The recommended consolidations are: Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University (Dahlonega); Middle Georgia College (Cochran) and Macon State College; Waycross College and South Georgia College (Douglas); and Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.

Chancellor Hank Huckaby recommended to the Board of Regents that eight of the System’s 35 colleges and universities be consolidated. The Board approved the recommendation at its Jan. 10-11 meeting.

Campus working groups will be appointed by Chancellor Huckaby and charged with developing detailed recommendations for consolidation and should be up and running by the end of January. Implementation actions will be reviewed by the University System Office and approved by the Regents’ Special Committee on Consolidation and the full board.

Implementation is expected to take between 12-18 months to finalize.

Regents Approve Termination of 253 Associate Degrees

The board terminated 253 associate degree programs, of which 250 are associate of applied science degrees (AAS) and three are associate of science degrees. While the number is extraordinarily large, the majority of the terminated programs have been on the books, but currently have no students enrolled.

The regents’ action followed its November 2011 approval of a new articulation agreement with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which is designed to reduce duplication of program offerings, avoid inefficient use of state resources, and minimize mission overlap between the USG and TCSG. The offering of AAS degrees falls primarily under the mission of the technical college system.


Dr. Houston Davis Named USG Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Houston Davis was named as the University System of Georgia’s new chief academic officer and executive vice chancellor by Chancellor Hank Huckaby. Davis’ current position is vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a system consisting of 25 universities and colleges as well as constituent agencies. He will begin his new duties in the Georgia system on May 1.

Governor Charges Campus Presidents With ‘Complete College Georgia’ Mission

Governor Nathan Deal, along with all 35 presidents of the University System of Georgia, 25 presidents of the Technical College System of Georgia and representatives from Georgia’s independent colleges and the business community, today launched the campus level completion portion of Complete College Georgia, which was first initiated in August 2011.

The complete text of the news release from the Governor’s office can be found at:


Chancellor Huckaby Seeks Broader Role For USG In Online Learning

Technology is the latest focus of University System of Georgia efforts to meet aggressive targets for increasing the number of Georgians who complete college.

USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced a new group that will look at how the System’s colleges and universities currently use the technology of distance education, also known as online learning, and make recommendations on how to better serve students.

Southern Polytechnic State University President Lisa Rossbacher will head up the new Distance Education Task Force created by Huckaby. Georgia Perimeter College President Anthony Tricoli and eight other members from throughout the University System will join her.

Task force members will work with Jon Sizemore, recently appointed interim assistant vice chancellor for Distance Education, and others in the system with expertise in the areas of distance education, academic programming and delivery and information technology.


USG Foundation Contributes to REACH Scholarship at Regents’ Salute to Education Awards

The University System of Georgia Foundation signed on to Governor Nathan Deal’s new Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) scholarship program with a substantial contribution.

A $50,000 check was presented to Governor Nathan Deal during the USG Foundation’s annual Regents’ Salute to Education awards dinner. The Foundation’s support joins that of twelve USG colleges and universities that previously pledged funds for REACH.

which is now in its eighth year of raising funds for student scholarships and honoring distinguished alumni and faculty. Funds raised through this event go directly to provide scholarships for students to attend all USG institutions and to support the mission of the University System of Georgia.

Regents Approve 17 General Education Courses for Transfer to Support Complete College Goals

The Board of Regents voted to accept an additional 17 general education courses in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) as transferable to the University System of Georgia (USG) for credit in the core curriculum, the basic courses all students must take to earn a degree.

The approval of 17 additional courses brings the total number of courses transferable to USG institutions from SACS accredited TCSG institutions to 27 . The increased number of courses enhances how TCSG students are able to pursue baccalaureate degree opportunities at USG institutions.

Recommendation Received for Valdosta State University Presidency

Regent Don Leebern, chair of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at Valdosta State University, and University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby have announced Dr. William J. McKinney as the finalist for the next president of Valdosta State University (VSU). McKinney is currently vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), a position he has held since 2008.


Georgia Public College Tuition Increase the Lowest in a Decade

This fall, most students at Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities will see the smallest tuition increase in a decade – 2.5 percent.

The action taken by the Board of Regents on tuition wass possible in part due to Gov. Nathan Deal recommending and the General Assembly agreeing to full funding of the formula for the University System of Georgia. By doing so, the regents were provided with a strong financial base upon which to set current tuition policy in fiscal year 2013. Another key contributor to the current decision is the goal of the board to maintain affordability.

The action by the regents on tuition was part of a larger package of decisions on the fiscal year 2013 budget and funding to the 35 colleges and universities as well as student fees and the future of the special institutional fee. The action by the board not only address affordability, but support the goals of ensuring high academic quality and promoting the Complete College Georgia completion plan.

At 2.5 percent, this is the lowest percentage increase since fiscal year 2003 for the majority of in-state undergraduate students. Depending upon the college or university in which a student is enrolled, this is an increase at 32 USG institutions from $31 to $91 per semester.

Space Utilization Study Focuses on More Effective Use of Resources

Turning an empty college classroom into one filled with students may seem just a matter of scheduling, but as the University System of Georgia explores how its space is utilized, officials are discovering it takes more than just filling more seats, more often.

Rather, as officials look to fulfill USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby’s mandate to better utilize existing space before constructing new buildings, the results of an initial pilot project study indicate a more seismic shift in attitudes is in order.

The initial study of space utilization at six USG institutions is providing information that system and institutional officials can use to help achieve greater efficiency. Initial findings indicate that how space is used varies widely campus to campus.

Key observations from the study include: the need for campus-level leadership to promote a new culture of institutional ownership, and for investments in existing buildings that focus on enhancing utilization and enabling space to be used for effectively, and reducing operating costs. The study shows that more consistent metrics are needed to compare and reveal utilization opportunities.

William McKinney named new president of Valdosta State University

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has appointed Dr. William J. McKinney as the next president of Valdosta State University. He will assume this new position beginning July 1, 2012.

McKinney, named two weeks ago by the Board as the finalist for the VSU presidency, is currently vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, a position he has held since 2008.

Randy Pierce Named Interim President at Gainesville State College

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced the appointment of Dr. Randy Pierce as the interim president of Gainesville State College. Pierce will assume the post on July 1 of this year, upon the planned retirement of current president Dr. Martha T. Nesbitt.

Shirley Kenny Named Interim President at Augusta State University

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced the appointment of Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny as the interim president of Augusta State University. Kenny will assume the post on July 1 of this year, upon the planned retirement of current president Dr. William Bloodworth.


Regents Approve Names for Two Institutions and Mission Statements for Four

The consolidation of eight University System of Georgia colleges and universities into four new institutions took another step forward with Board of Regents’ actions on new mission statements for all four new entities and the approval of name changes for two.

The board approved the name University of North Georgia for the new institution created through the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega and Gainesville State College.

The consolidation of Middle Georgia College in Cochran and Macon State College resulted in the board’s approval of an action plan that addresses the eventual move of the new institution from college to university status. As the first step of that plan, the regents approved the name Middle Georgia State College.

Along with the new names, mission statements for the four new institutions will be effective upon both approval and accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Board of Regents approval in January 2013.

Name changes for the remaining two new institutions created by the consolidation of Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University and that of South Georgia College in Douglas and Waycross College, will be submitted for board approval later this year.

Georgia Tech Students Have New Option Paying for College

The Board of Regents approved a test that could be copied throughout the University System

It’s a single sentence recently approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, but its 29 words carry a big positive impact for students and parents looking at how to pay for college. The addition to existing board policy clears the way for a test program this fall at the Georgia Institute of Technology that will seem familiar to anyone who has ever paid for goods or services over time.

Regents’ Teaching Excellence Awards for Departments and Programs Presented

Two University System of Georgia programs selected by the USG Academic Affairs office share the distinction as this year’s recipients of the Board of Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award winners. The Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental Spatial Analysis
at Gainesville State College (GSC) and the First Year Composition Program
 at the University of Georgia (UGA) were recognized at the USG’s Board of Regents meeting.

Dozier Named President of Savannah State University

Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier has been named by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents as the permanent president of Savannah State University. The regents’ decision followed a recommendation by USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby and ends the interim status she has held at SSU since April of 2011.

Watts Named Interim President of Georgia Perimeter College

Rob Watts has been named interim president of Georgia Perimeter College in metropolitan Atlanta by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby.

Watts previously served as interim president of Georgia Perimeter College in Decatur, Ga., from 2005-2006 and begins his second stint as interim president on May 14, 2012. He takes over from former GPC president Anthony Tricoli, who is taking a position in the University System’s Academic Affairs Office.

Since January 1, Watts has served as interim president of Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Ga., following the retirement of current president Randy Pierce. Watts previously served as Georgia Highlands’ (then named Floyd College) interim president from 2000 until the appointment of Pierce in 2001.

Watterson Named Interim President of Georgia Highlands College

Dr. Renva Harmon Watterson has been named as the interim president of Georgia Highlands College, effective May 14, 2012, by University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby. Watterson assumes the post from Rob Watts, who was recently named by Huckaby to become interim president of Georgia Perimeter College in metro Atlanta.

Watterson is currently vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Georgia Highlands, a post she has held since 2006. Prior to her current position at GHC, Watterson was chair of the humanities division of the College.


New Funds Help University System Better Serve Students

Ongoing work by Georgia’s public colleges and universities to increase college completion rates will get a boost in the upcoming year with $72.5 million in new funds. Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly fully funded the University System’s enrollment formula, and as a result, all 35 institutions will receive new funding to strengthen programs serving the system’s almost 320,000 students.

“These new, targeted funds reflect our strong commitment to the Gov.’s Complete College Georgia Initiative and will be used by our campuses as they focus on better serving our students in ways that foster increased retention and ultimately graduation rates,” said Chancellor Hank Huckaby.

University of Georgia Presidential Search Committee Named

Ben Tarbutton III, chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia (USG), announced the appointment of the University of Georgia (UGA) Presidential Search Committee.

A national search will be conducted to replace UGA President Michael Adams, who will step down on June 30, 2013. Adams has served as UGA’s president since 1997. For the complete list of search committee members visit http://presidentialsearch.uga.edu/committee.html

John Black Named Interim President of Macon State College

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced that he has appointed John Black, recently retired president of East Georgia State College, to serve as the interim president at Macon State College.

Black’s appointment, effective July 1, 2012, follows Macon State College President Jeffery S. Allbritten’s recent announcement that he was named district president of Edison State College in Florida.

Black has served as president of East Georgia from 2004 until his retirement in 2011. During his presidency, the Board of Regents approved state college status for East Georgia allowing it to offer, for the first time, a baccalaureate degree in biology.

Dorman Named President of Georgia College & State University

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia named Dr. Steve Michael Dorman, dean and professor in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida in Gainesville, as the next president of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. Dorman will assume the presidency of Georgia College & State University on September 1, 2012.


Economic Impact of University System Reaches $13.2 Billion

A newly released report states that the combined economic impact of the University System of Georgia’s 35 institutions on their host communities reached $13.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2011, which is 5 percent higher than the $12.6 billion reported for FY 2010.

The FY 2011 study found that Georgia’s public university system generated nearly 132,000 jobs, or more than 3 percent of all the nonfarm jobs that exist in Georgia. The bottom line is that one job out of every 29 in the State of Georgia is due to the University System.

The full study with data for all 35 USG institutions is available at: http://www.usg.edu/economic_development/documents/PS-USGImpact2011.pdf

Students Get Help Attending College Through SunTrust Scholars Program

Students facing financial hurdles attending college will get a leg up with the announcement of additional funding by the SunTrust Foundation to a year-old scholarship program.

Foundation officials announced a second round of funding in the amount of $47,500 to the University System of Georgia Foundation to benefit the “SunTrust Scholars” program at 10 Metro Atlanta University System of Georgia (USG) institutions.

The funding will enable ten deserving students to attend one of the following University System of Georgia institutions in the Metro Atlanta area: Atlanta Metropolitan College, Clayton State University, Gainesville State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, University of West Georgia. The program will be managed by the University System of Georgia Foundation

Joyce Jones to Lead University System Student Affairs Operations

Dr. Joyce A. Jones has been named as the University System’s vice chancellor for Student Affairs, beginning August 15, 2012. Not only will Joyce be a new face in the USG office, her position also is new. The position has been elevated from associate vice chancellor to that of vice chancellor. The upgrade gives the position greater authority in dealing with student issues and policy and was requested by campus student leaders in conversations with System officials and had the support of Chancellor Hank Huckaby.

Jones is currently the vice president for Student Services and dean of students at Augusta State University, a position she has held since 2005.

Marion Fedrick Leads University System Human Resource Program

Marion Fedrick has been named as the USG’s new Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. In this role, Fedrick is responsible for directing the development and implementation of the human resources strategies, plans, policies and programs for the USG. These responsibilities include employee benefit programs, organizational and employee development, leadership development and employee relations.

Fedrick was most recently the assistant commissioner of Human Resources for the State Personnel Administration (SPA), the central human resources agency for the state of Georgia. Her career also includes human resources leadership roles at AT&T, BellSouth Telecommunications, Emory Healthcare and University, Clark Atlanta University and Athens-Clarke County Government


Regents Approve New Names for Two Remaining Consolidating Institutions

There are now new names for all four new institutions being created as a result of the consolidation of eight current colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia.

The Board of Regents approved names for the final two pairs of consolidating institutions, following earlier action in May on names for the other two pairs.

The Board approved the name South Georgia State College for the consolidated institutions of South Georgia College (Douglas) and Waycross College (Waycross) and Georgia Regents University for the consolidation in Augusta of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.

The new names will be effective upon the new institutions receiving approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Board of Regents in January 2013.

Regents’ FY14 Budget Request Will Support Students, State Medical Needs

As the University System ramps up efforts to raise college completion rates, some of a requested $65.6 million enrollment-driven increase in state funding for public colleges and universities in Fiscal Year 2014 will support campus plans toward this end.

The dollars are part of a total $1.93 billion FY14 budget request approved today by the USG’s governing Board of Regents, along with a separate $279.6 million request for needed facilities.

Along with the request for new dollars, the regents also approved a three percent budget reduction plan, as instructed by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.

Enrollment gains in the fall of 2011 (the year upon which the new budget request is based) generated a $65.6 million increase in the System’s funding formula. This formula is the mathematical model used to calculate the cost of instruction and needed state funding at the state’s 35 public colleges and universities.

In addition to enrollment gains, other factors in the formula made up the balance of the $98.9 million request, including increases in health insurance, retiree benefits and maintenance and operations funding for existing facilities.

The regents also approved a FY14 capital budget request of $279.6 million, which includes $24.9 million in equipment for seven facilities under construction or renovation, $151.6 million in new construction for five projects, $33.3 million in construction and renovation for 11 projects (each under $5 million) and $50 million for major repair and renovation funds at all 35 campuses. The request also includes $19.8 million in construction for 12 Georgia Public Library System projects.

The actions on the FY14 operating and capital budget requests now go to OPB for the Governor’s review before he makes his final recommendations to the General Assembly in January 2013.

The complete FY14 capital budget request can be viewed at: http://www.usg.edu/facilities/capital_budget_requests

Gordon State College Name Approved by Regents

The Board of Regents approved the change of the name of Gordon College to Gordon State College. The action follows the Board’s approval in 2006 of a change in status for the two-year college in Barnesville to allow it to offer limited baccalaureate programs within the University System’s state college sector. The name change is effective immediately.

North Georgia College & State University SGA President Patrick Pickens Honored

This year’s recipient of the Regent Willis J. Potts Student Advisory Council (SAC) Leadership Award is Patrick Pickens, the second-term Student Government Association president at North Georgia College & State University. Pickens was presented the award by Regent Potts during the Board of Regents’ August meeting.

The award is in its third year, and this marks the second time a NGCSU student has been selected for the honor. The award was established in 2009 by SAC, an advisory council composed of student government association presidents at all USG institutions. The SAC membership named the award in honor of Potts’ leadership, service and commitment to University System students.

Each year the membership of the SAC anonymously votes for one its members that has attended at least three SAC conferences or sponsored events and exhibited strong leadership in the organization. The student must also demonstrate knowledge about the USG, its policies and operations. And finally, the student must be open, honest, respectful of others and enthusiastic in the engagement of all SAC activities and conferences.


Public Colleges Finalize Plans to Help More Georgians Earn Degrees

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative aims to increase the numbers of Georgians earning a degree.

Complete College Georgia (CCG) reached another milestone today with the release of a report with specific plans by institutions in both the University System of Georgia (USG) and Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).

The campus plans detail exactly how the ambitious goal of adding an additional 250,000 postsecondary graduates to the state’s rolls by 2020 is going to be met. As institutions begin to implement the plans, higher education officials point out that they will receive continued assistance to improve the plans and will be held accountable for progress.

In the executive summary of the Complete College Georgia plan, the authors noted that the campus plans address a number of components that, taken together, will work to increase access to college and college completion. These are:

• Better data collection and analysis to identify strengths and areas for improvement as well as the needs of various regions and populations;

• Increased partnerships with K-12 to improve college readiness for students out of high school;

• The improvement of access to college and graduation for all students;

• The reduction of the time it takes to earn a college degree;

• The development of new models of instruction and learning for students;

• The transformation of remediation.

University of West Georgia Presidential Search Committee Named

Board of Regents Chairman Ben Tarbutton III announced the formation of the the Special Regents’ Search Committee to conduct a national search to replace University of West Georgia President Beheruz Sethna. The committee will be chaired by Regent Ken Bernard Jr. and include Regents Larry Ellis, Neil Pruitt Jr. and Willis Potts. Tarbutton will serve as an ex-officio member of this committee.


New Innovative Online Bachelor’s Degree to Serve Next Generation of Students

University System receives $1 million grant for effort at Columbus State University.

Education agencies working to boost Georgia’s college completion rates received good news this week in the form of a $1 million start-up grant to develop an accelerated, primarily online bachelor’s degree. The degree also will allow students to be credited for the experience and skills they already hold.

The grant, from Next Generation Learning Challenges, a national initiative to improve college readiness and completion, led by EDUCAUSE and principally funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been awarded to the University System of Georgia.

Columbus State University will develop the degree program scheduled to launch in the fall of 2013. University System officials said that the program should improve Georgia’s ability to provide access for those historically not as well served by higher education, especially low-income students and the young adult military population.

Coastal Georgia President Valerie Hepburn to Step Down

Dr. Valerie Hepburn has announced her plans to resign as president of the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick at the end of May 2013. Hepburn has served the University System of Georgia in that role since 2008.

University System Enrolls Almost 315,000 Students this Fall

The University System of Georgia reported that its 35 colleges and universities enrolled a total of 314,367 students for the fall 2012 semester. This is a decrease of 1.2 percent (3,662) students from the fall 2011 enrollment of 318,027.

The enrollment numbers were released in the System’s “Fall 2012 Semester Enrollment Report,” which breaks down enrollment by institution, class (freshman, sophomore, etc.), race and ethnicity, in-state, out of state and foreign students, as well as gender and age.


Board of Regents Chair and Vice-chair Named

NeSmith Named Chair and Wilheit Named Vice Chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

The Board of Regents, the 18-member governing body for the University System of Georgia, elected Regent William “Dink” H. NeSmith Jr. to a one-year term as the Board’s Chair. NeSmith currently serves as vice-chair. Regent Philip A. Wilheit Sr., was elected to a serve a one-year term as the Board’s Vice Chair.

Regents Approve New Oversight of Building Projects

The Board of Regents approved four new policies to govern the financial oversight of the University System of Georgia’s public private ventures (PPV) program. The program serves as an important means of financing student facilities that support almost 315,000 students.

Since first employed in 1997, the PPV and GHEFA programs have been used to construct 175 projects totaling $3.6 billion. Projects include student housing, recreation facilities, research facilities, student centers, parking decks, dining halls and bookstores.

The four policies put in place rules for projects financed through the PPV program and GHEFA by setting maximum capacity limits, establishing a reserve fund, requiring refinancing reviews and revising the current private housing policy.

College of Coastal Georgia Presidential Search Committee Named

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby, in consultation with Board of Regents Chairman Ben Tarbutton III, announced the formation of the two committees required by regents’ policy to conduct a national search to replace College of Coastal Georgia President Valerie Hepburn, who will step down in May 2013.

The Special Regents’ Search Committee will be chaired by Regent Richard Tucker and include Regents C. Dean Alford, Rusty Griffin and Robert Hatcher. Tarbutton will serve as an ex-officio member of this committee.

Boehmer Named President of East Georgia State College

Robert G. Boehmer has been named by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents as the fifth president of East Georgia State College. The Regents’ decision followed a recommendation by USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby and ends the interim status Boehmer has held at East Georgia State College since November 2011.

Fort Valley State Univ. President Larry Rivers to Step Down

Dr. Larry Rivers has announced his plans to step down as president of Fort Valley State University effective June 30, 2013. Upon his departure, Rivers will have served as president of the University for just over seven years.


University System’s Consolidation Plan Gets Final OK From Accreditors

Four University System of Georgia colleges and universities that will result from the consolidation of eight existing institutions are one step further on the road to reality. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) gave its approval to plans to create Georgia Regents University, Middle Georgia State College, South Georgia State College and the University of North Georgia.

Officials from SACS, the Southeast’s accrediting organization for higher education, announced the approval of the prospectuses submitted by the four institutions during the SACS annual meeting held in Dallas. This represents the final step needed for the Board of Regents to grant its authorization for the institutions to begin to operate and to appoint presidents. This action is scheduled for the January Board of Regents meeting.

The four institutions will have new missions, academic programs and direction as they work to serve students. They are being formed through consolidation of North Georgia College and State University with Gainesville State College, Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University, Waycross College with South Georgia College, and Macon State College with Middle Georgia College.

The plan reduces the number of USG institutions from 35 to 31.

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