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Davis Shares Immediate Priorities with Regents in First Formal Remarks as Chancellor

Atlanta — February 8, 2006

In his first formal remarks to the Board of Regents, newly appointed University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. paid tribute to the intellectual talent on the system’s campuses and the role faculty, staff and students play in Georgia’s growth.

“People and businesses are drawn to centers of education and intellect, and you are the nucleus of intellectual activity,” Davis said in a portion of his remarks directed to the University System’s employees and students. “That is why what you do has so many implications for the future prosperity of this state.”

Davis said the University System exists to serve its more than 250,000 students. “The primary reason that more than 38,000 employees work so hard each day,” he said, is to ensure “access to high-quality academic programs, top flight faculty and first-rate facilities.” He told the students, “By optimizing your educational experiences, you give us hope and assurance that our future will be in excellent hands with you, our next generation of leaders.”

Davis noted that his immediate plans are to visit the USG’s 35 campuses to meet presidents, faculty, staff and students, balanced against working with the General Assembly on Gov. Sonny’ Perdue’s Fiscal Year 2007 budget recommendations for the University System. He said he also would meet in the coming months with regents and business and community leaders to understand the issues and challenges facing public higher education in Georgia.

“I will use such visits as data-gathering opportunities to help formulate my vision and plans for the System,” he said.

Davis said he places a high emphasis on creating a record of accountability to the state’s citizens for the University System’s performance. “Never before in the nation’s history has the creation of a more educated society held such great significance for the future of this state and our nation.”

Davis said that the System’s success would ultimately be measured by its impact on students and on society. In particular, improving the retention and graduation of students and expanding the System’s role in economic development will be key thrusts of Davis’ administration.

“In a world in which some countries are just beginning to realize the dynamic power higher education holds to transform societies, our role in affirming that truth here in Georgia takes on a new, competitive urgency,” Davis stated.

Davis officially assumed his duties as the 11th chancellor of the University System of Georgia on Mon., Feb. 6. Gov. Perdue will formally inaugurate Davis as chancellor later this year at a date to be determined.

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