Guiding Principles for Strategic Action

The University System of Georgia--which includes the Board of Regents, its Chancellor's Office, and all the institutions governed by the Board--

  1. Shall stimulate Georgians' aspirations for higher education, have high academic standards for its students and programs, challenge and assist students to meet or exceed those standards, provide sound academic and career advice, help students prepare for employment and lifelong education in a changing world, and increase the number of well educated Georgians.

  2. Shall place the welfare of its students, within the context of academic quality, as its first priority in decision-making at all levels.

  3. Shall seek a high-quality, diverse pool of students to admit, insuring that the majority has the preparation considered necessary for college success and providing focused support for those students whom it selectively admits without the standard preparation.

  4. Shall insure that Georgians comprise the large majority of its students, with special emphasis on the representation of minorities among its successful graduates, and shall strategically recruit students from other states and nations so that all may benefit from a diverse student body.

  5. Shall reasonably accommodate the needs of non-traditional learners in providing access, services, and instruction.

  6. Shall insure that each of its institutions provides an educational, physical, and social environment that supports learning and growth, raises ethical issues for consideration, embraces cultural diversity as a social norm and economic asset, and prepares its students for leadership, collaboration, and conflict resolution in an international, technological, and environmentally responsible society.

  7. Shall insure adequate written policies and procedures for dealing with student complaints and discipline, with proper attention both to advocating students' concerns and to holding students responsible for their actions, in order to provide fair treatment of students collectively and individually at the institutional level, with specified grounds for appeal to its Board of Regents.


  1. Shall promote to Georgians and the nation its commitment to service by supporting strong undergraduate, graduate and professional education; pathbreaking research and creativity; and other national patterns of academic excellence in its curricula and operations.

  2. Shall make the best possible freshman-sophomore education available for students at all its institutions, shall ease the transfer of lower-division credits among its institutions, and shall expect all students seeking a baccalaureate degree to undertake and complete a core curriculum at one of its institutions or by transfer from a comparable college or university.

  3. Shall use educational technology, innovation, and teaching strategies that produce the most learning by engaging students actively, collaboratively with other students, and in frequent contact with faculty. It shall promote and reward excellence in teaching, and shall maximize the benefit to students and to the state from the research, scholarship, and service activities that complement teaching.

  4. Shall make teacher education a high priority, holding all its programs for current as well as prospective teachers to high standards of quality, innovation, and technological advancement.

  5. Shall insure that its historically black institutions are models of access to academic excellence, full partners in land-grant and other collaborations, and assets in the entire System's continuing initiatives to eradicate inequities and to increase current opportunities for all Georgians.

  6. Shall insure that each of its institutions has a clear, substantive, distinctive mission that supports the mission and vision of the System as a whole; a commensurate array of academic programs; and adequate resources concentrated to emphasize its distinctive strengths. The University System shall also encourage program collaboration and otherwise minimize unnecessary program duplication among its institutions, particularly in costly programs.


  1. Shall recruit aggressively and nationally for talented, diverse faculty to serve the various missions of its institutions. It shall also develop and retain faculty in an attractive, collaborative, productive environment for teaching and learning that includes, for both non-tenured and tenured faculty: clear personnel standards and policies; expectations and programs for continued professional growth; resources to support excellence in teaching, scholarship, research, and community service; competitive compensation and other recognition for meritorious performance.

  2. Shall recruit and retain nationally respected administrative leaders and well qualified staff, who are diverse in background and committed to students and to the missions of their respective institutions. It shall support them with the resources they need to do their jobs, clear personnel standards and policies, professional development opportunities, and competitive compensation to reward achievement, encourage excellence and teamwork, and insure accountability at all levels.

  3. Shall have strong written policies and procedures for selecting personnel, for establishing expectations, for making personnel decisions and handling appeals at the lowest responsible level; shall maximize authority and accountability for its institutions to resolve grievances; and shall specify the grounds for personnel appeals to be referred to its Board of Regents.

  4. Shall be pro-active in pursuing equity and in managing risk, thereby maximizing the effective talents of its personnel and minimizing human injury and related legal costs.


  1. Shall have strategic enrollment policies that determine the number of students its various institutions can serve excellently based on its projected resources. It shall forecast changes in student demand and resources, prepare effectively for those changes, market the full range of its campus settings, and make optimal use of all existing human and physical resources, including the access-cornerstone capabilities of its two-year colleges, to advance Georgians' access to academic quality.

  2. Shall encourage its institutions of all sizes to be full partners in inter-unit collaboration, shall provide incentives for technological and other innovations, shall maximize economies of scale in configuring its campuses and academic programs, and shall also use interstate cooperation to meet Georgians' needs for higher education.

  3. Shall pay priority attention to regions of the state with unusually underserved populations and/or exceptionally large population growths in managing access to needed academic programs and collaborative delivery of needed educational services.

  4. Shall support the responsibility of its individual institutions to monitor and meet local needs, and to take advantage of local opportunities, by initiating collaborations whenever appropriate, by acting on their own when it is consistent with academic quality and mission, and by functioning as effective brokers to bring to bear on local needs the resources of the entire System.

  5. Shall base its capital priorities on a Systemwide perspective, strategic and academic program planning, audits of existing and projected physical capacities, and careful analysis to determine the benefits of renovation or new construction as options to meet needs.

  6. Shall design and build facilities flexibly to accommodate tomorrow's educational methods and technologies for distance education, and shall balance local initiative and central oversight in their design and construction in order to enhance both campus environments and statewide economic benefits.

  7. Shall seek its full share of state revenues to meet a realistic, long-term estimate of its needs; aggressively pursue private gifts in support of quality higher education and public funding at local, state, and national levels; keep tuition reasonable and predictable, with priority consideration for Georgians and undergraduates; and insure that its budgetary policies and practices all support its strategic priorities.


  1. Shall maximize the effectiveness of its Board of Regents in setting policy and priorities, communicating its will on a continuing basis through a well staffed Chancellor's Office, and guiding toward its vision the System's institutions and program operations through the presidents.

  2. Shall exercise the Board of Regents' constitutional governance authority over its institutions within the context of constructive, continuous relationships with the General Assembly, the Governor's office, and other state agencies.

  3. Shall use the best management practices of continuous strategic planning and quality improvement, suitable standards and rewards, regular assessment reviews, and a focus on learning productivity, all in an atmosphere of cooperation and accountability. It shall thereby insure the implementation of its policies, the effectiveness of its programs and units and administrative leaders, and proper stewardship by its Board of state resources to provide Georgians access to academic excellence.

  4. Shall develop reliable, broad-based data and draw on effective advice--including state, regional, and institutional perspectives of administration, faculty, students, community leaders, and other stakeholders--for its policy decisions.


  1. Shall create deep, rich partnerships with elementary and secondary schools by initiating and supporting collaborative faculty development, dynamic and sustained pre-college programs, and other projects throughout its institutions to assist in insuring that Georgia's children and young people receive strong preparation and advisement for college study and lifelong learning.

  2. Shall maintain an interactive, reciprocal partnership with the Department of Technical and Adult Education that includes distinct missions, collaboration and open communication, bridges between the two systems, complementary involvement in school-to-work and other programs, and the recruitment of students to whichever post-secondary program best serves each individual's immediate educational needs.

  3. Shall maintain and expand contacts with business and government leaders and organizations to assist them in accomplishing their goals in an increasingly international environment, to insure that its own non-credit and degree programs are current and flexible, to provide students with opportunities for involvement with business and government, and to bring System resources fully to bear on the state's economic development.

  4. Shall maintain both direct and technological linkages with major cultural and social organizations and governmental agencies, encourage joint projects with them, maximize their access to its continuing education and support resources, seek their assistance to develop curricular, research, and service projects and student opportunities, and work collaboratively to advance and enrich the quality of life for all Georgians.

  5. Shall pursue coordinated approaches to statewide, national, and international telecommunications and other technological initiatives that maximize public access to information, benefit public health and material well-being, and improve educational access, quality, and cost-efficiency.

  6. Shall promote the highest possible public opinion of its impact on the lives of all Georgians by interpreting its needs, activities, and accomplishments with sustained effectiveness to the general public and to business, community, and political leaders at both state and local levels, and by engaging Georgians in strong support for quality public higher education.



Source: Access to Academic Excellence for the New Millennium, June 1995

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