Board of Regents Responds to Article Regarding Chancellor
Atlanta — April 22, 2005
Board of Regents Chair Joel O. Wooten has responded to today’s article in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution regarding the relationship between University System of Georgia Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith and the board.
“Unfortunately, the article published in today’s Atlanta-Journal Constitution did not accurately reflect the conversation the Board of Regents conducted during our executive session this week – dialogue regarding a personnel matter rightfully protected under the Open Meetings Act,” Wooten stated.
“As is our usual practice, the Board met in executive session to hear from the chancellor regarding the evaluation and reappointment of the System’s presidents,” Wooten noted. “We then met, as usual, to discuss the process for the Chancellor’s annual evaluation. Keeping with our standard process, a Board committee will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the chancellor and report back to the full board for final action at our May meeting.”
Wooten emphasized the fact that the evaluation process has not yet been conducted. “For the record, the Board has not voted to dismiss the chancellor,” he stated. “In fact, the Board has not made any decision regarding the renewal of the chancellor’s contract. We intend to maintain our customary process.”
The board chair also strongly noted the protocol under which the Board of Regents operates. “No single member of the Board of Regents has the right to preempt the protocol and decision making of the entire 18-member board,” he said.
Wooten also directly addressed the chancellor’s performance and contributions: “From my perspective as chair of the Board of Regents, Chancellor Meredith has been highly effective since joining the University System of Georgia in January 2002.” He noted that Meredith assumed the chancellorship during “one of the most difficult and financially challenging times in the System’s history.”
“He has led us forward during unprecedented budget cuts and has guided us through the establishment of new relationships with university foundations throughout the System,” Wooten said. “Our academic quality is at an all-time high and accountability measures now abound throughout the System. The stage also has been set for our fiscal rebound, in spite of some of the tough issues we still face. The University System is on course and strongly focused on ensuring that more and more Georgians pursue a postsecondary education.”