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Muyskens Named CEO of New Gwinnett Center

Atlanta — August 17, 1999

Dr. James L. Muyskens (pronounced MY-SKINS) has been named by University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams, Georgia Perimeter College President Jacquelyn M. Belcher and University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch to serve as the chief executive officer and dean of the faculty of the soon-to-be constructed, high-tech Gwinnett Center.

The facility will serve recent high-school graduates, adults ready to begin college, and working professionals seeking to upgrade their skills or earn advanced degrees. The first two years of undergraduate instruction at the Gwinnett Center will be offered through Georgia Perimeter College. The final two years, along with various graduate courses, will be offered through UGA. Faculty groups at the two institutions already are at work identifying how course offerings will be expanded, and creative ways to offer an appropriate array of courses to meet the demand.

Muyskens has served for the past four years as the University System of Georgia’s senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. He will transition from his current role into his responsibilities as the Center’s CEO over the next several months.

In his current position, Muyskens has been responsible for meeting the academic needs of more than 205,000 students and over 8,000 University System faculty members. He assumed the senior vice chancellor’s post at a time when the Board of Regents was beginning to implement its strategic plan aimed at achieving academic excellence and moving toward national and international preeminence. The chief academic affairs official also has worked successfully with the provosts and vice presidents of academic affairs at the University System’s 34 institutions to implement an array of new policies, ranging from semester conversion to enhanced teacher preparation to post-tenure review.

“Jim has been a central figure in the conception and development of our Gwinnett Center,” said Portch. “He is intensely interested in this project, is extremely excited about being directly involved in innovations in teaching and learning, and is very pleased to be remaining in Georgia to use his proven expertise to benefit the System and the State.”

The Gwinnett Center is a collaborative effort between the University of Georgia and Georgia Perimeter College, as well as a partnership between the University System and Gwinnett County.

The Center, to be located off Highway 316 at Collins Hill Rd., in Gwinnett County’s Lawrenceville section, will break ground before the year’s end. It is scheduled to open in Fall 2002 as a national model for a high-tech learning environment.

Preliminary design work on the Center has been completed by Portman & Associates, with extensive input from the University System of Georgia’s facilities office, UGA, Georgia Perimeter College and Gwinnett County officials. Gwinnett County provided land and infrastructure for the Center valued at close to $10 million. The Governor and the legislature have provided $19.8 million to-date for the initial landmark building.

Commenting on the appointment of Muyskens to head the Gwinnett Center, UGA’s President Adams said: “I have enjoyed my relationship with Jim Muyskens since the first day I joined the University System. I am excited about him becoming a part of the UGA team in his capacity with the Gwinnett Campus, and I believe his academic background as well as his System experience make him well-prepared as the CEO for this new academic unit. I know that our provost and deans look forward to working with him.”

Georgia Perimeter’s President Belcher is enthusiastic about Muyskens’ appointment: “Jim Muyskens will bring the highest quality academic standards to this leadership position, and I am pleased that he has accepted it. This Center holds such great promise for the University System, as we set our sights on becoming a leader in the innovative use of instructional technology. We are proud to be a collaborator in this project, and look forward to the Center’s creation and success under Jim’s capable guidance.”

Highly anticipated, the new Center is being shaped to meet Gwinnett County’s under-served higher education needs, by utilizing all forms of instructional technology along with traditional faculty/student exchanges in the classroom. The facility is expected to be a “signature technology building,” that will incorporate the use of voice, data and video technology to enhance student learning.

“The Center will be an important resource for Gwinnett County and indeed the whole state of Georgia,” said Regent Glenn S. White, who lives in Gwinnett. “I am ecstatic about Jim’s appointment to provide the leadership needed for this project, because his selection is a signal of the high priority that the regents are placing on the Gwinnett Center.”

Muyskens joined the University System in September 1995, from The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas, where he had served as dean since 1988. Prior to that post, he had a 17-year career with Hunter College of the City University of New York. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan and a M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central College in Iowa.

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