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Chancellor Davis Announces Staff Changes

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Atlanta — August 23, 2006

University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced today several staff changes and appointments involving senior-level and key strategic positions in the University System Office. The staffing changes announced today include:

  • Senior Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Thomas E. Daniel will serve as interim chief operating officer/executive vice chancellor, replacing Corlis P. Cummings, who will be taking a leave of absence. Daniel’s appointment will take effect September 5.
  • Julia M. Murphy, executive assistant to the president at Oglethorpe University, has been named secretary to the Board of Regents, filling the vacancy that will created by the retirement of long-time board secretary Gail Weber, slated for October 1. Murphy will assume the post September 5, pending final Board of Regents’ approval.
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications John H. Millsaps has been named interim associate vice chancellor for media and publications, replacing Arlethia Perry-Johnson, who was named last week as special assistant to the president at Kennesaw State University. Millsaps’ appointment will take effect September 25.

“We are certainly sorry to lose the talent and experience of Corlis, Gail and Arlethia at the System Office,” said Davis. “Each of these individuals has served the Board of Regents and the University System exceptionally well for extended periods, and we are grateful for their service.

“We are very fortunate, though, to have a broad range of experience and skills within the organization,” Davis noted. “So we are looking forward to Tom Daniel and John Millsaps filling two of these critical positions on an interim basis. I also am pleased that the System continues to attract talented and experienced individuals like Julia Murphy to contribute in vital new ways to the Board of Regents.”

Tom Daniel is a long-time administrator in the University System Office, who began his career in governmental affairs after earning a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1974 from the University of Georgia. In the mid-seventies and early 80’s, Daniel worked on the successful gubernatorial campaigns of two Georgia governors, George Busbee and Joe Frank Harris, and in key staff roles with Governor Busbee. He then joined the Board of Regents in 1982, serving first as special assistant to the chancellor for five years, and for one year as executive assistant to the chancellor. He was named vice chancellor of external affairs in 1988, a post he held until 2000. That year, Daniel initially was named interim senior vice chancellor for human and external resources, and later interim senior vice chancellor for external activities and facilities. In 2001, Daniel was named permanently to that post, which he held until July of this year.

Presently, Daniel serves as senior vice chancellor for external affairs, responsible for the Media and Publications, Economic Development, Georgia Public Library Service and Sponsored Research groups within the University System Office. In each of the capacities in which he has served, Daniel also has led and overseen the University System’s governmental affairs activities and communication with the members of the Georgia General Assembly.

Cummings has served the Board of Regents since 1995, including as interim chancellor from September 1, 2005 through February 5, 2006. She has been extremely critical to Davis during his transition to the chancellor’s post over the past six months, including in helping to shape the major reorganization of the University System Office announced last month. The new COO position is aimed at aligning the USO’s business-related operations, and has oversight of the University System’s Legal Affairs, Facilities, External Affairs, Business and Fiscal Affairs, and its Human Resources, Health & Life Plan divisions.

“The Board of Regents has provided me with a tremendous opportunity to grow professionally and personally,” Cummings stated, “and I am very grateful for the opportunity to enjoy such valuable public service. I was extremely honored to be chosen to serve as interim chancellor during the search that led to Chancellor Davis’ appointment.” Cummings will remain of counsel to Davis during her period of leave.

Gail Weber joined the Board of Regents in November of 1984 as an administrative secretary in the Office of Legal Affairs. She went on to serve five chancellors in various administrative roles, and assumed the secretary to the board post in 1995.

“My position has permitted me to understand and participate in higher education issues beyond what I could have hoped,” Weber stated when tendering her resignation. “To have worked with so many public servants of the caliber of the chancellors and board members has been a privilege and an honor.”

As the new Secretary to the Board of Regents, Murphy will serve as an annually elected officer of the board, responsible for providing executive administrative support to the board and the Office of the Chancellor.

Since September 2004, Murphy has served in her present position at Oglethorpe University, a private institution in Atlanta, where she was responsible for supporting the president and managing the president’s office. She has held similar positions during her career, including with The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, Norman Kent Productions and Performance Designs, of Deland, Fla., and with CSX Intermodal, Inc., of Jacksonville, Fla. Murphy’s professional career also includes work as a consultant in the special events. She also worked for Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. and Murphy and Company, Inc., an estate and insurance planning business. In addition, she served as a part-time program host for radio stations in Monroe and Bostwick, Ga. Murphy also is a published author and photographer and earned a B.A. in religious studies from the College of Mount Saint Joseph, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

John Millsaps has worked for the Board of Regents since 1995, serving as director of communications and marketing until his promotion in 2004 to assistant vice chancellor for strategic communications. He has 29 years of experience in communications and marketing, including high-profile communications positions with Six Flags Corp., the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cotton States Insurance, the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association, and the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, where he also served the communications needs of the DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Millsaps earned a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He has been a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America, the Georgia Press Association, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, and the Georgia Education Advancement Council (GEAC). His work with GEAC included service on the board of directors as the organization’s president. He is a founding member of the Southeast Tourism Society.

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