USG eclips for July 19, 2019

University System News:


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AJC On Campus: Morehouse probe widens, USG’s award, UGA’s $224M score

By Eric Stirgus

There were a few personnel changes on the higher education front in Georgia in the last week: some involuntarily. Here’s a breakdown of those actions and other issues in this week’s AJC On Campus.

Regents remix

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday two new members on the powerful Board of Regents, the group that sets policy for the state’s largest colleges and universities. The new members will replace two longtime members Nathan Deal tried to reappoint before he left the Governor’s Mansion in early January.

University System of Georgia gets big award

The University System of Georgia got a major honor this week from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association for its work to get first-year students on track to graduate on time and efforts keep tuition costs manageable. The state’s top political leaders all congratulated the system for the honor.

University of Georgia’s fundraising haul

The University of Georgia officials said this week they raised more than $200 million for the third consecutive year. Georgia’s flagship university said it raised $224 million in new gifts and pledges for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

It pays well to graduate from Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech can be pricey, particularly if you’re an out-of-state student, but there’s a big payoff once you graduate, according to a CNBC study. The news outlet ranked Tech as the fifth-best payoff of any public school in the nation.

Sea turtles aplenty in South Georgia

Georgia Southern University researchers predicted it, and it’s happened. They’ve found a record number of sea turtles nests along St. Catherine’s Island this year. “This year, we have officially broken our all-time record number of nests, which was 322 and set in 2016,” said Jaynie Gaskin, executive director of the Georgia Southern University Sea Turtle Program at St. Catherine’s Island.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

University System of Georgia gets national award for excellence

By Eric Stirgus

The University System of Georgia was honored Thursday with an award by a national education organization for its work to help incoming students and efforts to keep its 26 schools affordable. The Colorado-based State Higher Education Executive Officers Association gave the Georgia system its Exceptional Agency Award for 2019-2020.“The University System of Georgia (USG) has demonstrated a consistent commitment to advancing postsecondary education and student success within the state of Georgia,” the association said on its website.


Rockdale Newton Citizen

University System of Georgia receives national award

From Staff Reports

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced Thursday the University System of Georgia (USG) was recognized nationally as the 2019-2020 Exceptional Agency by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). This Award of Excellence recognizes leadership, dedication, and innovation in state higher education policy and administration. “The University System of Georgia has equipped its graduates with a strong foundation and the necessary skills to compete in the workforce for generations,” said Kemp. “The First Lady and I know this firsthand, not only as graduates of a USG institution ourselves, but as the proud parents of two current USG students. Across our state and around the globe, countless families like my own have benefited from the opportunities our 26 institutions provide. This national recognition is well-deserved, and it continues to solidify Georgia’s reputation as the top place for students to learn, job creators to invest, and families to grow.” The Exceptional Agency Award is presented to a SHEEO member agency whose innovative actions, policies, or practices advanced student success in their state and which displayed exceptional governance practices.


See also:

Augusta CEO, Metro Atlanta CEO, Middle Georgia CEO, Athens CEO, Albany CEO

University System of Georgia Receives National Exceptional Agency Award of Excellence




By: Tim Bryant

The University of Georgia is reporting a third straight year of $200 million-plus in fundraising: the University says donors gave $224 million in Fiscal Year 2019.

From UGA Media Relations…

This year’s giving drove the Commit to Georgia Campaign beyond two major goals: raising $1.2 billion and creating 400 Georgia Commitment Scholarships by the campaign’s conclusion on June 30, 2020. It also is the third consecutive year that fundraising has exceeded $200 million.


Albany Herald

ABAC students learned from renowned scientist

From Staff Reports

Traveling to the northwest corner of the United States to scan rodent specimens may not sound like a good time to most, but for two students and their professor from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, it’s an experience they will never forget. ABAC Professor Andrew McIntosh and ABAC students Kristi Guerrero and Melvin B. Whitsett traveled from Tifton to Seattle, Washington, where they scanned rodent specimens from the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. “We took the specimens from the Burke Museum and scanned them at San Juan Island,” McIntosh said. “The whole point of the trip was to digitize specimens from this museum and specimens from Florida’s Natural History Museum and upload the digitized images online so they can be freely available for others to use.” The ABAC group traveled by ferry from Seattle to San Juan Island and stayed for two weeks. During that time, they were fully trained on a micro CT scanner by world renowned researchers in scientific imaging. The ABAC representatives scanned more than 100 rodent specimens.


Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

New space artifacts can be seen in Columbus for 50th anniversary of Apollo 11


As the 50th anniversary of the moon landing approaches Saturday, Columbus resident Tom Scott figured this is a fitting week to donate more artifacts from his brother’s collection to the Columbus State University Coca-Cola Space Science Center. His brother, David Scott, is one of only 12 people to have walked on the moon. He also was the first to drive on the moon, part of the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, the nation’s fourth manned lunar landing and his third space flight.


Gainesville Times

This NASA engineer to talk about moon landing, plans to return with a female astronaut

Kelsey Richardson

Saturday marks 50 years since man first set foot on the moon. Sabrina Thompson, a NASA aerospace engineer, will speak about the historic Apollo 11 mission during the University of North Georgia’s 50th anniversary lunar landing celebration on Saturday, July 20.


Albany Herald

ABAC students study abroad in France

From Staff Reports

Eating endless amounts of bread and cheese, touring a snail farm, and living like the French were some of the highlights for a group of students from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College who experienced a study-abroad trip to France this summer. For Loren Lindler, studying abroad was the experience of a lifetime she couldn’t pass up. A senior from Gilbert, South Carolina, Lindler will graduate from ABAC in December with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. The journey represented her first taste of life away from America. …Their first stop was Belleau Wood, site of the first major engagement for the United States Army in World War I.


The Rd & Black

Summer classes on the rise among UGA students

Lorna Ramage | Contributor

Come May, University of Georgia students scatter from Athens to hometowns, internships and study abroad trips. But while Athens appears to lull until the fall semester, summer enrollment is on the rise. According to data from the University System of Georgia and the UGA Fact Book, enrollment in summer classes saw a dip from 2011-2014, followed by a gradual rise from 2015-2018.  In 2018 — which provides the most recent data — about 58% of the total number of students enrolled at UGA took summer classes. This is about a 2% increase from 2016. This increase follows closely with the increase in the total student population.


Growing America

Internships Allow Potential Employees to Learn from UGA Extension Agents

By: Sharon Dowdy

What better way to decide if a county Extension job is for you than to spend a summer working alongside a county agent. For the past 12 years, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has offered annual paid internships to college students who aspire to be county agents. The internships are funded in part by UGA Extension and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Office of Academic Affairs. “Extension summer interns not only learn valuable employment skills, they also contribute in meaningful ways to the daily educational programming offered by the local Extension program,” said Mike Martin, director of county operations for UGA Extension. “I have been very impressed by the quality of the students. It’s exciting to see many of them go on to apply for full-time employment with UGA Extension when they graduate.”


Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham CrimeStoppers taps retired police major Larry Branson as new director

By Brittini Ray

Savannah’s crime-solving tip line is under new leadership as the Savannah-Chatham County CrimeStoppers taps retired Savannah-Chatham police major Larry Branson as the organization’s new executive director. A Savannah native, Branson is a 30-year law enforcement veteran. In 2015, Branson retired as the senior major responsible for the patrol division of the then metro police department. …Branson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and a minor in political science from Armstrong State College. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Branson also has 22 years of teaching experience, spending time at Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University.



Police investigate reported flasher on campus of Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern University police are investigating after a woman reported being flashed last week. It happened on July 10 on Plant Drive near the Forest Drive bus stop. The woman told police the man approached her and told her he was making a video. He asked if she wanted to be in it. Police say she told the man no and that’s when he flashed her. He then road off on a motorized scooter.



Higher Education News:


The Chronicle of Higher Education

At Least 62 Colleges Were Exploited by a Software Vulnerability. Here’s What You Need to Know.

By Grace Elletson

The U.S. Education Department posted an alert late Wednesday saying that a software program used widely among higher-education institutions has a severe vulnerability that could allow users to gain access to student records. The program, Banner, is operated by Ellucian, a company that makes higher-education software. Banner can be used to manage student-information, financial, human-resources, and financial-aid systems, according to Ellucian’s website. The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office said it had identified at least 62 colleges that have been exploited through the vulnerability. In the alert, the department said colleges had seen attackers infiltrate Banner and then create multiple student accounts in the “admissions or enrollment section of the affected Banner system.” Over the past 24 hours, department said that “at least 600 fake or fraudulent student accounts were created,” and that “some of these accounts appear to be leveraged almost immediately for criminal activity.” The Department of Education did not reply on Thursday to The Chronicle’s questions about which colleges had been affected.


Inside Higher Ed

Faculty Fight in the Last Frontier

Facing unprecedented state cuts, faculty members at one branch of the University of Alaska system assert that another campus should absorb most of the financial pain. Its peers aren’t pleased.

By Nick Hazelrigg

The gloves have already come off in the wake of massive cuts planned for the University of Alaska system, with the Faculty Senate at the university’s largest campus in Anchorage issuing a report detailing why the smaller research campus in Fairbanks should bear the brunt of the financial reduction. Fairbanks officials were none too pleased. In late June, Governor Mike Dunleavy vetoed portions of the Alaska Legislature’s state budget — causing an unprecedented 41 percent cut to the University of Alaska system. Last week, legislators failed to override the governor’s veto. Now, as major financial issues loom closer, infighting has already begun between institutions within the system — as is often the case in higher education when money gets tighter. The Anchorage campus’s Faculty Senate committee on governance and funding reform released a report last week detailing opinions on how the system should handle the cuts — and it asserts that the University of Alaska Fairbanks should absorb much of the pain.


Inside Higher Ed

States Put Stamp on Student Loan Oversight

After the Trump administration dialed back oversight of student loan servicers, states have responded to demands from consumer groups by passing new laws targeting companies that handle millions of borrowers’ payments.

By Andrew Kreighbaum

…Lawmakers in a growing number of states have sought to tackle student debt as a consumer protection problem. Over the first half of 2019, legislatures have enacted a flurry of bills taking aim at the companies that process and handle payments on the roughly $1.5 trillion in outstanding federal student loan debt. Loan servicers have come under increased scrutiny from consumer advocates in recent years. And the Trump administration’s decision to dial back federal oversight of the industry appears to have prompted several states to act themselves, often at the urging of consumer groups. New state regulations are testing arguments by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration that only the federal government, and not the states, has the authority to police loan servicers. Recent court rulings, though, appear to have only strengthened the hand of states seeking to wield more oversight powers.