University System of Georgia

The central communications/public information operation for the USG

Willis J. Potts Jr. Elected Chair of Board of Regents

Atlanta — June 8, 2010

Willis J. Potts Jr. thumbnail
Willis J. Potts Jr.

The Board of Regents, the 18-member governing body for the University System of Georgia, today elected Regent Willis J. Potts Jr. of Rome to a one-year term as the board’s chair.

Potts, who was appointed in March 2006 by Gov. Sonny Perdue to represent the Eleventh Congressional district on the Board of Regents, will serve as board chair from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011.

“I am honored that the board has chosen me as its leader,” Potts said. “These are extremely challenging times for public higher education, and although this board already has countless accomplishments of which to boast, much work remains to be done. I look forward to the task.”

Potts retired in June 2004 as the vice president and general manager of Temple-Inland Corporation, based in Rome, following a 35-year career in the international pulp and paper industry. He began his career as an engineer at the Union Camp Corporation’s Savannah pulp and paper mill in 1969.

Over the course of his career, Potts served as chairman of the Paper Industry Management Association and chairman of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, both international in scope.

Potts also is active with the Floyd County March of Dimes, Mercy Senior Care in Rome, the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce; and, the mentoring program Communities in Schools (Rome-Floyd).

Potts earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed the University of Virginia’s Executive Program. In 2008, he was named to Georgia Tech’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni and, in 2009, he received the Dean Griffin Community Service Award from Georgia Tech’s Alumni Association.

Potts and his wife, Glenda, are the parents of three adult children.

Regent Doreen Stiles Poitevint chaired the committee that developed nominations for board officers for the coming year. Committee members were regents W. Mansfield Jennings Jr. and Kessel D. Stelling Jr.

The Board of Regents is a constitutional body that governs and manages the University System of Georgia, comprised of 35 public colleges and universities, more than 302,000 students, and approximately 40,000 faculty and staff.

« News Releases