Joe Frank Harris Elected Board of Regents Vice Chair
Atlanta — June 13, 2001
Regent Joe Frank Harris today was elected to a one-year term as vice chair of the Board of Regents, the 16-member governing body for the University System of Georgia.
Harris will serve as the board’s vice chair from July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002.
Harris served as Governor of Georgia for two terms from 1983-91. He was appointed to the Board of Regents to represent the Seventh Congressional District in 1999 by Gov. Roy Barnes.
Harris’ administration is known for having made improvements in education through the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) and for enhancing the state’s economic development activities. Before his gubernatorial election, Harris served 18 years as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, the last eight as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. His fiscal management brought higher bond ratings for the state and, during his term as Governor, Georgia was rated among the country’s top 15 best-managed states by Financial World.
“I am pleased to take on this important responsibility on behalf of the University System of Georgia,” Harris said. “Ensuring that public higher education remains strong and responsive to the needs of this state’s citizens is critical to Georgia’s continued growth and prosperity.”
Barred by law from seeking a third term as Governor, Harris returned to life as a private citizen in 1991. He is chairman of the Harris Georgia Corporation and a member of the boards of directors of AFLAC, Inc., and Bankhead Enterprises, Inc.
He is the first Distinguished Executive Fellow at Georgia State University, where he is a professor in the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies. The royalties from his autobiography, Joe Frank Harris: Personal Reflections on a Public Life, are being donated to the Georgia State University Foundation to support the Governor Joe Frank Harris Scholarship Fund.
Harris earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son, Joe Frank Jr., a Cartersville attorney. The Harrises live in Cartersville.
The Board of Regents is a constitutional body that governs and manages the University System of Georgia, comprised of 34 public colleges and universities. Currently, more than 200,000 students are enrolled in System institutions and there are more than 30,000 faculty and staff.