USG e-clips for April 23, 2021

University System News:

Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Board of Regents pauses search for new chancellor

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia said Thursday it has elected to pause the current search for a new chancellor. “We value the input received from faculty, staff, students, and community leaders throughout this process and want to ensure we meet the expectations of this challenging, yet critically important time in higher education. As we pause to reflect and determine our next steps, please be assured we remain dedicated to our vision of creating a more educated Georgia,” the Board of Regents said in a statement, without elaborating. The University System’s current Chancellor Steve Wrigley in January announced plans to retire July 1. The Board of Regents said it would conduct a national search for a new chancellor.

See also:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Board of Regents to pause search for next chancellor


Georgia university regents pause search for new chancellor

The Fresno Bee, Merced Sun-Star, Tulsa World, San Francisco Chronicle

Georgia university regents pause search for new chancellor

Marietta Daily Journal

Reeves to resign from General Assembly, become Georgia Tech executive

Staff reports

For Marietta attorney and Georgia lawmaker Bert Reeves, it was a matter of leaving one dream job for another. Reeves’ alma mater, the Georgia Institute of Technology, announced Thursday morning the seven-year state representative who serves as Gov. Brian Kemp’s floor leader, will become the university’s vice-president of university relations, a cabinet-level position reporting directly to President Angel Cabrera. The appointment is effective May 1. Reeves, 44, will resign his District 34 Georgia House seat representing parts of Marietta and Kennesaw effective April 30.

The Augusta Chronicle

AU Health posts $20 million loss with more than $180 million in charity care

Tom Corwin

Battling the COVID-19 pandemic and taking on many patients who could not pay led to a $20 million loss for AU Health System in the first nine months of its fiscal year, with more than $180 million in charity care provided so far, officials said. But the health system has seen good revenue growth and has a plan to get expenses under control, CEO Katrina Keefer said.

At a meeting Thursday of its Board of Directors, chairman Jim Hull said AU Health “leads the fight as we live with COVID-19.” But that war has come at a heavy cost. The health system saw a $38.7 million operating loss through the first nine months of its fiscal year, according to its financial statement. The largest portion of that was an extra $29 million in salary and wages, over $7 million more in benefits, $7.4 million in supplies and nearly $5.6 million extra from drugs and pharmaceutical supplies. The loss would be tempered by $18.7 million in non-operating revenue and investment gains but the health system still ended with a $20 million loss. The health system administration has a $40 million plan to improve that looks at those salary and wage expenses, supplies and also revenue, Keefer said.

The Red & Black

UGA student co-founds apparel company to discuss mental health

Maddie Brechtel | Contributor

“It’s something that people all struggle with, but no one really talks about,” Jennings Brooks said about mental health. Brooks, a senior journalism major, recently co-founded I Got Your Back Apparel with longtime friend and current University of Michigan senior Audrey Smit as a creative way to promote conversation surrounding mental health and suicide awareness. Both Brooks and Smit said they have experience with people who have struggled with mental health and classmates that have died from suicide. This is what later inspired them to create their apparel company. …According to the UGA office of Student Affairs, the university began the Healthy Minds study in December of last year as a part of the new partnership with the foundation, making UGA en route to become a JED campus.


AU, community leaders meet to discuss minority voices in med research


This afternoon, researchers from Augusta University and community leaders met at Good Shepherd Baptist Church to talk about how to better represent minority voices in research. The forum focused on the importance of African American and Latin voices in the research process. Directors of Community Relations and the Institutional Review Board led the meeting. This is the first time an event like this has been held by these groups. RB Officer Director for Augusta University Ivy Tillman stressed how just how important this event was.

AP News

Georgia Tech structure certified as ‘living building’

By Jeff Amy

It’s not too often that tours of new buildings start with the toilets. But they’re a big part of a different kind of building in Atlanta. And so, Shan Arora, who oversees Georgia Tech’s Kendeda Building, troops visitors pretty quickly to a ground floor bathroom where the toilet begins to hum, and then foam. There’s no conventional flushing, with the toilets consuming only a teaspoon of water per use….Georgia Tech is announcing on Thursday — Earth Day — that the building has won certification as the 28th “living building” worldwide. That means the building has proved over a year of operation that it meets the standards of the International Living Future Institute that it does more good for the natural environment than harm.

Tifton CEO

ABAC Offering Personal Campus Tours for Prospective Students

With COVID-19 guidelines in place, personal tours of the campus of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College for prospective students have become the rule rather than the exception. Before the pandemic, large group tours of ABAC’s campus in Tifton were commonplace.  Campus tours for individuals and families are now hosted by the ABAC Enrollment Management team and guided by the ABAC Ambassadors student leadership organization.

Henry Herald

Clayton State’s College of Business to offer financial literacy course for high school students

From staff reports

Local high school students will have an opportunity to learn about personal finance thanks to a new partnership with Clayton State University’s College of Business. The business college has signed an agreement with the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at the University of California – Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business to offer a residential financial literacy program. The program will be called LIFEVest.

WGAU Radio

UGA says diversity efforts are “making significant progress”

$1 million to fund 16 programs

By Tim Bryant

The University of Georgia says diversity initiatives put in motion by a task force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community are making strides: UGA president Jere Morehead formed the task force that is using $1 million in private funds on 16 programs designed to foster what the University says is a more welcoming and supportive learning environment for minorities.

See also:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Opinion: University of Georgia stonewalls racial justice and reckoning

The Tifton Gazette

Herrings donates portrait to ABAC

Descendants of John Lewis Herring recently gathered to present his portrait to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where it will occupy a distinguished position in the building named in his honor.  To honor the family’s connection to ABAC, Jim and Martha Moore donated the re-creation of their treasured family oil painting of John Lewis Herring, college officials said in a statement. Herring was a prominent resident who was instrumental in bringing the Second District Agricultural and Mechanical School to Tifton. He was the publisher of The Tifton Gazette when Second District A&M opened in 1908, college officials said.  An area high school, Second District A&M later became South Georgia A&M College in 1924, the Georgia State College for Men in 1929 and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1933.


UGA Marine Extension hosting maritime forest walks to celebrate Earth Day

Learn more about the plants and wildlife that make up forests in the Coastal Empire

By Sarah Stone

A number of events are planned throughout the rest of April to celebrate Earth Day around the Coastal Empire. The University of Georgia Marine Extension and Sea Grant is leading a series of guided hikes of their maritime forests on Skidaway Island. Those are the forests common on barrier islands.

See also:

The Red & Black

SGA, Office of Sustainability host Earth Week fair, community clean-up

Tifton CEO

Camp Wiregrass Available on Site or at Home Through ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture This Summer

Exploring worlds of old and new, creating crystals, making solar powered s’mores, and learning to use a compass are a few of the activities that children can enjoy during Camp Wiregrass sessions this summer at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture. Children from 4 to 12 years old can experience these and many more adventures when they explore Georgia agriculture, history, and natural resources.


WGAU Radio

UGA’s Shepherd elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

He’s a noted expert on climate

By Sam Fahmy, UGA Today

The University of Georgia’s J. Marshall Shepherd has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and is also an independent research center that convenes leaders from across disciplines, professions and perspectives to address significant challenges. This highly prestigious national honor comes in the same year that Shepherd, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. “The University of Georgia is very proud of Dr. Shepherd for receiving this well-deserved recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “To be elected to the NAE and AAAS in the same year is a testament to the significant reach and impact of Dr. Shepherd’s research and scholarship.”

Athens CEO

CAES Undergraduate Student Researchers Showcase Results at Annual Event

The 2021 College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium drew 48 participants in a virtual format that showcased students’ research findings and provided cash awards to eight first- and second-place winners. With the help of faculty mentors, undergraduate students learned valuable lessons about the research process while gaining personal and professional benefits from conducting research. Presentations covered a range of topics from environmental science and crop science to plant pathology and neuroscience.

Athens CEO

UGA Public Service and Outreach Awards Recognize Achievement, Creativity and Contributions that Improve Quality of Life

Eight University of Georgia faculty and staff members will be recognized this week for their commitment to public service and outreach. Award winners were selected from UGA academic and research faculty, Cooperative Extension and Public Service and Outreach units. They will be recognized in a university-wide virtual Honors Week presentation on Wednesday, and in a smaller virtual event, hosted by UGA Public Service and Outreach, on Thursday.

Chicago Gallery News

The Metamorphosis of Gabriel Villa

The Metamorphosis of Gabriel Villa introduces Villa’s new direction from painting into installation and clay sculpture created during his Jackman Goldwasser Residency at Hyde Park Art Center, along with previous paintings. Through an extensive studio and public art practice, Villa seeks to seamlessly translate the language of Mexican traditions and the personal, urban American experience into charged intimate narratives….Gabriel Villa, a studio and public artist, was… a 2018-19 Jack Goldwasser Artist in Residence at Hyde Park Art Center, and a recipient of the Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies at Columbus State University, GA, 2017

The Gainesville Times

UNG professor wants you to know more about what’s in COVID vaccines

Nick Watson

The University of North Georgia hosted a town hall meeting Thursday, April 22, that tackled some of the common misconceptions and concerns around the COVID-19 vaccine. The presentation by biology professor Dr. Miriam Segura-Totten at the Gainesville campus was the final of four town halls hosted this week across the UNG campuses with elements including the mRNA vaccine history and the recent pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

WGAU Radio

UGA: COVID cases hold steady over the past week

Campus testing increases

By Tim Bryant

Cases of coronavirus at the University of Georgia remained flat last week, with a total of three dozen positive tests for COVID 19 for the week that ended this past Sunday. The University’s Wednesday report shows 32 cases among UGA students, three among staffers, and just one positive test for a faculty member.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Opinion: Did college leaders show moral leadership in responses to Chauvin verdict?

Get Schooled with By Maureen Downey

Rhetoric professor says some colleges chose to be careful rather than courageous

In a guest column today, Matthew Boedy, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of North Georgia, draws on his area of study and scholarship to parse the statements by leaders of Georgia colleges after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd. Not all of them earn top grades for their responses. Boedy discusses what they didn’t say and compares their statements to those of private college leaders in Georgia. Boedy is conference president of the Georgia chapter of the American Association of University Professors, a national organization that represents the interests of college and university faculty members.

Other News:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Map: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Georgia (updated April 22)

An updated count of coronavirus deaths and cases reported across the state

CONFIRMED DEATHS: 17,304 | Deaths have been confirmed in every county. This figure does not include additional cases that the DPH reports as suspected COVID-19-related deaths. County is determined by the patient’s residence, when known, not by where they were treated.

CONFIRMED CASES: 872,396 | Cases have been confirmed in every county.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

U.S. drop in vaccine demand has some places turning down doses

By The Associated Press

Louisiana has stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. About three-quarters of Kansas counties have turned down new shipments of the vaccine at least once over the past month. And in Mississippi, officials asked the federal government to ship vials in smaller packages so they don’t go to waste. As the supply of coronavirus vaccine doses in the U.S. outpaces demand, some places around the country are finding there’s such little interest in the shots, they need to turn down shipments. …The dwindling demand for vaccines illustrates the challenge that the U.S. faces in trying to conquer the pandemic while at the same time dealing with the optics of tens of thousands of doses sitting on shelves when countries like India and Brazil are in the midst of full-blown medical emergencies.

Higher Education News:

Inside Higher Ed

Study: Student Drinking Decreased During Pandemic

By Elizabeth Redden

A new study of college student drinking patterns published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that on average college students drank less — not more – after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Washington at Seattle found that a change in student residence was linked to a reduction in drinking. Students who moved residences in spring 2020 due to the pandemic reduced their drinking by 49 percent, compared to a 21 percent reduction among students who did not move. …The study is based on a survey data from 1,365 college students aged 19 or over. Anna Jaffe, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, is the lead author of the article, which compares alcohol use across the spring 2018, 2019 and 2020 semesters.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Higher Education Institutions Speak Out Against Restrictive Voting Legislation

by Jessica Ruf

Institutions and corporations across all sectors have felt increasingly moved to take public stands on political issues they might have previously remained quiet about. So, when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed controversial voting legislation, SB 202, into effect on March 25, various sectors responded — and higher education was no exception. Earlier this month, leaders from several historically Black colleges and universities in Georgia publicly condemned the legislation, calling it “a direct assault on the voting rights of all citizens, particularly African Americans, the poor and other underserved communities.” …But Georgia institutions are not the only ones to vocalize opposition. With nearly 1,800 election-related bills filed across the country, voting legislation has become a national debate. In response, nearly 50 higher education institutions signed a joint letter last week drafted by the American Council on Education (ACE) condemning “the many efforts currently underway across the nation to suppress voting by qualified voters.”  Dr. Terry Hartle, ACE’s senior vice president in government relations and public affairs, stressed that the letter wasn’t meant to address any specific state legislation but instead is “a statement of principle.”