USG e-clips for June 29, 2022

University System News:

Albany Herald

UGA Foundation Fellow Luke Hendrix to study biological science this fall

UGA News Service

When not outside hunting, fishing, playing a game of basketball with friends or competing as a state-level varsity swimmer, Luke Hendrix has had his eye on a different prize: attending the University of Georgia, just like his dad. For Hendrix, an incoming biological science major at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the journey to graduation is about to become even more enriching: Hendrix has just been announced as one of the university’s newest Foundation Fellows. “I learned about the Foundation Fellowship program while I was researching scholarships at UGA,” he said. “I was really interested in maximizing my opportunities at the university, and the Foundation Fellowship seemed like a good fit. And it had the travel opportunities that I was interested in.

The City Menus

Economic engine: UWG’s fiscal impact climbs to $626.7M

By Colton Campbell

A new study shows the University of West Georgia contributed more than $626.7 million to the local, regional, and state economy between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. This represents an increase of nearly $400,000 over the previous year, as the university continues to make a significant economic impact in its communities of service and beyond. The study revealed every dollar spent by UWG in Fiscal Year 2021 generated an additional 61 cents for the regional economy. Student spending also increased significantly, rising to more than $287 million, up from $265 million the previous year.


Gordon has huge impact on local economy

By Walter Geiger

The University System of Georgia (USG) released a report that listed Gordon State College as having contributed more than $122 million to the regional economy and provided 998 jobs in fiscal year (FY) 2021. The FY spanned from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. In FY21, GSC had a little over 3,100 students enrolled. Of GSC’s total job impact, 292 jobs existed on campus while 706 jobs existed off-campus due to institution-related spending. “Gordon State College’s renewed partnerships and the educational ecosystem approach has been a catalyst for the significant impact within our regional economy. Our five-year strategic plan, ‘Building the Power of WE!’ is in full effect,” said GSC President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks. “We will continue to move forward with a confident mindset that our graduates are equipped to provide the local region with talent demonstrating the Highlander EDGE.”

Columbus CEO

Study Reveals Columbus State’s FY21 Economic Impact Grew to $283M

Staff Report

A recent study commissioned by the University System of Georgia and released on June 27 estimates the regional economic impact of Columbus State University’s institutional spending as $283.2 million for Fiscal Year 2021. This represents a 3.9% increase over the university’s FY20 regional economic impact. The annual economic impact study revealed every institutional dollar spent by Columbus State University generates an additional 22 cents for the regional economy—a 4.8% increase over Fiscal Year 2020.


AU adds $2.24 billion, 21,000 jobs to Ga. economy, report finds

By Staff

Augusta University and AU Health System provided a $2.24 billion boost to the state economy in fiscal year 2021, according to a new report from the University System of Georgia. The total enrollment at Augusta University for fall 2021 was more than 9,600. Augusta University’s enrollment has increased more than 15% since fall 2015 and is averaging an annual increase of 2.4 percent, according to AU President Brooks Keel. …Augusta University and AU Health are responsible for more than 21,000 jobs, according to the report.

Inside Higher Ed

New Presidents or Provosts: Cleveland State CC, Dillard U, Lenoir-Rhyne U, Lubbock Christian U, Texas A&M U–Commerce, U of Arkansas–Fort Smith, U of New England, U System of Georgia, Utah State U, Wesleyan College

Doug Lederman

Ashwani Monga, provost and executive vice chancellor at Rutgers University at Newark, has been named chief academic officer and executive vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University System of Georgia.

Moultrie Observer

ABAC names Sale City native to leadership post

Staff Reports

Trent Hester has been selected as the first ever leadership and engagement coordinator at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. In his role, Hester oversees ABAC’s orientations, Welcome Week, and Student Engagement Programs (STEPS). Internships, Study Abroad, and Mentored Research are included in STEPS. “I also assist with the ABAC Ambassadors, and I am always happy to help in any area in need,” Hester said.

Marietta Daily Journal

Fast Start Academy supports Marietta students, gives KSU undergrads teaching experience

By Jake Busch

Page by page and word by word, Brittany Aguilar helps rising Marietta third grader Abishaie Akin-Cole spell out the first sentence in a children’s book. Aguilar is patient as Akin-Cole struggles with the word “you’re,” prompting the young instructor to bring her student to the white board at the front of the room, where they break down the word together. Aguilar, a senior studying elementary education at Kennesaw State University, is one of 18 students teaching at Fast Start Academy. A four-week summer program housed in KSU’s Bagwell College of Education, Fast Start is in its 21st year. It caters to a group of second and third grade students from Marietta City Schools, offering them the chance, at no cost to them or their families, to improve their literacy skills and learn from positive role models.

Albany Herald

UGA Ratcliffe Scholars experience ‘intense’ growth through experiential learning

By Caroline Hinton University of Georgia

In a world filled with screens and devices, the world is virtually at our fingertips each second of every day. It is easy to look at pictures and videos of places you would like to visit, watch live streaming of events happening around the globe, connect with other cultures or perspectives in a chat box, or even learn a new skill by simply donning a pair of virtual reality goggles. Even with as many opportunities as these technologies afford, one method of learning remains unmatched in educational quality — hands-on, experiential learning. Experiential learning is a hallmark of student education at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and has been since the college’s inception.

Forsyth News

University of North Georgia visits with local community leaders for annual education, economic development tour

Sabrina Kerns

FCN staff

University of North Georgia leaders visited community and business partners in Forsyth County on Tuesday, June 21, learning more about how they can prepare students for a career in the county.

Fox 28 Savannah

Savannah-area business leaders survey financial literacy simulation for students

by Isabel Litterst

The Junior Achievement Discovery Center opened six months ago on Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong campus. Since then, Camille Russo, vice president of Georgia Junior Achievement Grand Strategies, said that nearly 8,000 students visited the center for financial literacy and budgeting simulations. These programs introduce these relatively young students, middle school kids, to them at the level that they can understand it,” Russo said. On Tuesday, members of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce got to see the program first-hand and learn more about the new curriculum.

Albany Herald

PHOTOS: Albany State University hosts drone-flying training class

Photos by Reginald Christian

On June 18, Albany State University hosted a free drone safety session. The event was open to the community and open to participants of all ages. Participants learned how to safely operate drones and the Fly R.I.G.H.T Principles, while fostering an understanding of commercial and recreational uses, including drones used in education.


Savannah Mayor: Curfews, closing businesses early among options to combat city’s gun violence

Mayor Van Johnson says everything is on the table – including instituting curfews – as city leaders try to combat Savannah’s gun violence problem ahead of another holiday weekend. Johnson made the comments during his regularly scheduled press conference Tuesday, just days after gunfire erupted at a busy City Market. …Chad Posick, an associate criminal justice and criminology professor at Georgia Southern University, says studies show curfews can help curb violence in the short term.


Just in time for Fourth of July: Bald eagle spotted in Byron

The national bird has seen a population rebound since facing extinction in the 1970s.

Author: 13WMAZ Staff

A bald eagle was spotted in Byron on Saturday. John Callis was at his mother’s house near Highway 41 in Houston County when he noticed the bird. His son took photographs of the bird, which was near a lake behind the property. …The bald eagle almost went extinct in the 1970s, but they now can be found in several U.S. states, including Georgia. The bald eagle population in Georgia has grown substantially since then, with an increase in the number of eagles during fall and winter months. The state is home to a number of eagle refuges, including at the Center for Wildlife Education at Georgia Southern University.

Farmers Advance

Spotted wing drosophila fly activity starting but still low this spring

Rufus Isaacs, Steve Van Timmeren, and Julianna Wilson  |  Farmers Advance

Monitoring traps set by Michigan State University researchers in southwest Michigan unmanaged and commercial farms have started to catch spotted wing drosophila (SWD) adult flies this season. These traps were baited with Scentry lures and checked weekly. The timing of these detections is in line with the typical timing of SWD activity. We usually catch the first SWD in traps in late May or early June in southwest Michigan farms, and that has been the case this season with the first flies caught in a few traps in the last few days of May. This was followed by continued low catch until last week when there was an increase of activity from an average of 0.2 flies per trap to 17.5 flies per trap. With a few of the earliest ripening blueberries and cherries starting to color in southern Michigan, growers of these crops should be paying attention to this pest.

High heat slows – but does not stop – SWD development

With fruit starting to ripen under humid conditions, it is not surprising that we are seeing SWD activity getting started. However, the continued blazing hot temperatures this week are expected to limit activity of SWD flies. These conditions also inhibit egg laying and reproduction, and a study from University of Georgia showed that temperatures over 83 degrees Fahrenheit inhibited this insect.

Daily Report

Judge Tosses Whistleblower’s Latest Motion to Uncover Alleged University System of Georgia Fraud

“It’s a red flag that there’s no reason to hide the evidence for a situation where the person is deceased,” said Denise Caldon Sorkness. “They never address the fraud and the fiscal malfeasance that I brought to their attention.”

Everett Catts

A judge has dismissed a whistleblower’s latest motion in her court battle with the University System of Georgia (USG) that has lasted for more than a decade. Denise Caldon Sorkness was hoping to get unsealed documents stating she was forced to falsify her boss’ attendance records before being fired for refusing to do so. She spent 15 years as the administrative assistant to the president at Macon State College, which is now Middle Georgia State University, including 11 working under David Bell.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia State student shot, killed at Summerhill apartment complex

By Chelsea Prince

A 22-year-old Georgia State University student was killed Monday night after he was shot inside an apartment in the Summerhill neighborhood. He was found by his friend, who said he heard the shot from the bathroom but didn’t see who fired it. The friend jumped out of the shower and found David Minor wounded and lying on the ground in the living room shortly after 7 p.m., he told Channel 2 Action News. …The deadly shooting remains under investigation at the Yugo Atlanta Summerhill apartments across the street from Georgia State’s stadium in south Atlanta. The off-campus complex markets to Georgia State students.

Gainesville Times

UNG is preparing for $5 million loss in state funding. Here’s what that could mean

Ben Anderson

The University of North Georgia is bracing for a $5 million loss in state funding next year due to a decline in student enrollment, which means vacancies would be left unfilled and faculty would likely be laid off. “We’re not looking at tenure-track faculty,” Provost Chaudron Gille said in an interview Tuesday. “I don’t envision having to go to that. But probably some that are in these one-term positions, where in the past we might have been able to engage them another year, that may not be the case this time.” UNG’s total budget for fiscal year 2022 is about $275 million, and academic affairs accounts for about two-thirds. The budget cuts would affect next year’s budget, beginning July 2023.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Red State University Blues

When elected officials impose their political views, how should a public university respond?

By Daniel Golden and Kirsten Berg

This article was co-published with ProPublica.

In August 2020, Boise State University chose a doctoral student in public policy, Melanie Fillmore, to deliver what is called a “land acknowledgment” speech at a convocation for incoming freshmen. Fillmore, who is part Indigenous, would recognize the tribes that lived in the Boise Valley before they were banished to reservations to make way for white settlers. Fillmore considered it an honor. …Two days before the convocation, the vice president for student affairs told Fillmore that her appearance was canceled, explaining that her safety might be at risk or that she might be trolled or doxxed online. …She wondered if administrators were worried about the timing. The Idaho Legislature — which normally meets from January to March, when it decides how much money to give to public education, including Boise State — would hold a special session three days after the convocation to consider Covid-19 measures. Conservative legislators, who ever since Tromp’s arrival had been attacking Boise State’s diversity initiatives, might hear about Fillmore’s talk and seize on it to bash the university. …Across the country, elected officials in red states are seeking to impose their political views on public universities. Even as they decry liberal cancel culture, they’re leveraging the threat of budget cuts to scale back diversity initiatives, sanitize the teaching of American history, and interfere with university policies and appointments. In Georgia, the governor’s appointees have made it easier to fire tenured professors.

Other News:

Athens CEO

New COVID-19 Tools Help Citizens Understand Pandemic Information, Risks

Kathryn Kao

Are you more likely to die from COVID-19 or in a car accident? A new risk assessment tool can help you figure that out. Created by Cameron Byerley at the University of Georgia, the online tool is called COVID-Taser, and it allows users to adjust age, vaccine status and health background to predict the risks of the virus. Byerley, an assistant professor in UGA’s Mary Frances Early College of Education, said that most people assess risk based on their experience of the world.

Higher Education News:

Higher Ed Dive

Persistence rates rose last fall but didn’t reach pre-pandemic levels, report finds

Laura Spitalniak, Associate Editor

Dive Brief:

Student persistence and retention rates rose for the fall 2020 cohort of first-time students but have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Of the 2.3 million first-time college students in fall 2020, 75% returned to higher education by fall 2021. A majority, 66.4%, stayed or earned a credential at the same college, while 8.6% returned to class at a different institution. That persistence rate represents a 1.1 percentage point increase from the previous year’s rate of 73.9%. This year’s gain, to 75%, is a stronger improvement than the historical average but still not enough to reach the pre-pandemic level of 75.9%.

Inside Higher Ed

Student Safety Wishes: Visible Security, Brighter Walkways, More Crime Prevention

Six approaches and actions for creating safer campuses based on student opinion and perspectives.

By Melissa Ezarik

For many prospective college students, campus safety and security doesn’t emerge as a major factor in enrollment decisions. According to the Student Voice survey conducted in May, only 27 percent of undergraduates say they considered it a great deal. But for an additional 38 percent, it got some consideration. …Awareness about student safety experiences and perspectives can drive higher ed institutions’ efforts related to safety and security spending as well as creating a culture where students—even those who don’t enter college with trust in police—feel they can turn to the professionals focused on keeping them safe. Following are six approaches and actions to consider.

Inside Higher Ed

The ‘Difficult’ Name Penalty

Study finds having hard-to-pronounce names—from the perspective of native English speakers—results in poorer job placements for economics Ph.D.s.

Colleen Flaherty

Prior studies have found evidence of name-based discrimination in hiring. But while such research often used fake applications to examine how would-be employers responded to names distinctively associated with a particular race or gender, one new preliminary study looks at name fluency: how long it takes to a pronounce an applicant’s name. In addition to studying name discrimination from a new angle, this working paper is also based on the real-world employment outcomes of some 1,500 economics job candidates from about 100 Ph.D. programs following the 2016–17 to 2017–18 market cycles, not hypotheticals. Ultimately, the authors found that having a name that takes longer to pronounce is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of being placed into an academic job or obtaining a tenure-track position. Having a hard-to-pronounce name—from the perspective of native English speakers, that is—also is associated with initial job placement at an institution with lower research productivity, as measured by the research rankings in the Research Papers in Economics database.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Are Coke and Pepsi Campuses Bad for Public Health?

By Francie Diep

At the University of Florida, all Pepsi drinks must be served in Pepsi-approved cups, which are usually branded, although plain glasses are OK for catering. At Arizona State University, athletes, coaches, and entertainers performing on campus may publicly consume only “limited” amounts of non-Coca-Cola drinks and only if they hide the name of the other brand. Milk may not immediately leap to mind as a competitor to soda, but Rutgers University nevertheless has a rule about it. Milk can be sold on Rutgers’ campus only if it’s fresh and unbranded. These are some of the strings attached to each university’s contract with soda giants Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Colleges have signed so-called pouring-rights contracts with soda companies since the 1990s, exchanging promises to advertise and sell a company’s drinks in return for hefty cash payments and other perks. But it has always been difficult to tally just how prevalent such agreements are and what their specific terms tend to be. Now, a new study offers one of the most comprehensive looks yet at pouring rights at the United States’ largest public universities.

Inside Higher Ed

U.S. Plans to Help Universities Protect Security of Research

Doug Lederman

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday announced a new effort aimed at working with universities to protect potentially sensitive research products from theft by foreign agents. The so-called Academic Outreach Initiative was announced by the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for export enforcement, Matthew S. Axelrod, in a speech at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Higher Ed Dive

5 proposed Title IX rule changes colleges should know

The draft regulation would broaden the scope of cases colleges must investigate and expand the definition of sexual harassment.

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Senior Reporter

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education published its long-awaited regulatory proposal on Title IX, the federal law that bans sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. While the law once was best known for attempting to ensure equity in athletics, over the last 11 years it has morphed into one of the primary tools for defending against campus sexual violence. The Biden administration’s draft rule outlines the steps colleges and K-12 schools would need to follow to investigate and possibly punish sexual misconduct. It would replace one issued by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that took effect in August 2020. DeVos said she wanted to preserve due process in Title IX proceedings, and her rule created a courtroom-style setting for evaluating reports of sexual violence. …Below, we outline five key provisions of the department’s plan that colleges will likely need to understand. The draft rule will likely not come into force for many months, as the department must collect public feedback during a 60-day comment period and respond to the comments in the regulation’s final iteration.

Higher Ed Dive

20 states again ask court to block Ed Dept’s policy that Title IX protects LGBT students

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Senior Reporter

Dive Brief:

Twenty predominantly conservative states sued the U.S. Department of Education this week, seeking to overturn its interpretation that gay and transgender people are protected under the federal law banning sex-based discrimination in schools. The states, led by Tennessee, said in court filings that the department’s interpretation of Title IX runs afoul of federal law, regulatory processes, and the Constitution. They also took aim at recent guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stating employers must accommodate LGBTQ workers on certain issues, including their preferred restrooms and pronouns.

Inside Higher Ed

Title IX Proposal Would Add Protections for Pregnant Students

The Biden administration’s new proposal would strengthen protections for college students who are pregnant or seeking abortions.

Meghan Brink

The Biden administration’s attempt to advance protections against sex-based discrimination and harassment on college campuses through a Title IX proposal came just 24 hours before the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion. In the eight states that have so far banned abortions, and the 22 states where bans are expected soon, pregnancy rates among college students are expected to rise. Many colleges will now have to grapple with new questions of how Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 applies to students seeking academic accommodations to access abortion, especially for college students who will now have to cross state borders to legally terminate a pregnancy. According to a 2013 study, 20 percent of individuals said that they got an abortion because having a child would interfere with their future opportunities, including education. College-aged individuals, of whom 92 percent are under the age of 24, are among the most likely demographic to seek abortion care.