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USG Chancellor Tapped To Lead National Higher Education Association

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Atlanta — November 25, 2003

University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith today became the first head of a university system to chair the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a leading national higher education association headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Meredith — who also is in his second year as president of the National Association of System Heads (NASH), an organization comprised of the chief executive officers of the 51 public higher education systems in the United States — assumed his duties as chair of AASCU at the conclusion of the 2003 AASCU Annual Meeting today, in Carlsbad, Calif.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities represents more than 430 public colleges and universities and systems across the United States and in Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. Its mission is to promote appreciation and support for public higher education by shaping and analyzing public policy, strengthening academic quality and promoting access and inclusion. The organization also fosters the facilitation of educational innovation and offers professional development opportunities for institutional leaders — notably higher education presidents and chancellors.

“I look forward to serving AASCU and its members at a time when higher education is facing some of the most critical issues it has dealt with in the past decade, from budget cuts to increased pressure related to accountability issues,” Meredith said. “The power higher education has to transform people’s lives and to invigorate the economy is a message we must continue to communicate to the public.”

Meredith is responsible for Georgia’s 34 public colleges and universities, which include four research universities, two regional universities, 13 state universities, two state colleges and 13 two-year colleges. The University System of Georgia has nearly 250,000 students, 35,000 faculty and staff and an annual budget of $4.6 billion. Prior to becoming chancellor of Georgia’s University System, Meredith served as chancellor of The University of Alabama System from June 1997 through 2001. In that capacity, he was responsible for three doctoral research universities, which have a combined enrollment of 40,000 students, 17,000 employees, and an annual budget of $1.8 billion.

A native of Owensboro, Ky., Meredith served from 1988 to 1997 as president and professor of education at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. He joined that institution from The University of Mississippi, where he had served as vice chancellor for executive affairs from 1987-88 and adjunct professor of higher education and executive assistant to the chancellor from 1984-1987. Before that, Meredith had served as an academic programs officer and as an associate director for programs and planning for the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning in Jackson, Miss., from 1974-1984.

Meredith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies from Kentucky Wesleyan College, a Master of Arts degree in education administration and supervision from Western Kentucky University, and a doctor of education degree in administration and supervision with an emphasis in secondary and higher education from The University of Mississippi. He also completed the Institute for Educational Management program at Harvard University and participated in the Higher Education Roundtable at Oxford University.

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