USG e-clips for August 29, 2022

University System News:


The Brunswick News

CCGA, Georgia College partner on new pathways

By Lauren McDonald

College of Coastal Georgia and Georgia College & University leaders signed two agreements Thursday that will offer students in Georgia a new pathway to future success. Representatives from both colleges met on CCGA’s Brunswick campus to sign memorandums of understanding. The first agreement creates a pathway for students from 62 counties to attend CCGA in preparation for transfer to Georgia College in Milledgeville, where they will complete their bachelor’s degree. The second agreement forms an honors pathway that will allow top-achieving students to receive honors benefits at both colleges.


Grice Connect

GS President Kyle Marrero delivers a focused “State of the University” address

President Marrero intends to pass all prior year’s metrics by evaluating each department’s performance and keeping abreast of the overall student success statistics

By Brandon Robinson

The bedrock of our locality. The mecca of our community. I could only be talking about one entity when it comes down to Statesboro, GA. And it’s our hometown college, Georgia Southern University! GS kicked off its 2022-2023 school year with an enthusiastic “State of the University” address given by University President Kyle Marrero. The ceremony began with Marrero’s cabinet laying the foundation for this school year’s hopes and intentions. …Following Belvin’s speech, President Kyle Marrero congruently highlighted that “solving and evolving” and “innovation in a timely manner” were the main goals of his administration. This means that the university must continually keep up with the ever-changing pace of the world to ensure that its students are ready for their future careers and workforce environments. He believes that GSU students must remain on track with the current technology and intellectual demands of today’s society, to successfully take it by storm. President Marrero went on to list the many metrics which he sought to improve upon within their current year. And although each category was different in scope and subject, each one was centered around the golden word of the hour, “innovation.” President Marrero intends to pass all prior year’s metrics by evaluating each department’s performance and keeping abreast of the overall student success statistics.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

T. Dallas Smith reflects as he hands over reins of Atlanta firm

By Zachary Hansen

The Black-owned commercial real estate business brokered Microsoft’s Grove Park campus in 2020

College Park Golf Course is rented out every August for a bunch of commercial real estate brokers to hit the links, smoke cigars and celebrate the birthday of their company’s founder. Upon reading that sentence, one might envision a group of white, elder-leaning salesmen. The commercial real estate industry has been almost exclusively white and male since its inception, but T. Dallas Smith has made it his goal to defy expectations. Smith, the man celebrating his 60th birthday on a recent Monday, started one of the largest Black-led CRE firms in the country 15 years ago. T. Dallas Smith & Co., based in Atlanta’s Centennial Tower, was his attempt to open up the industry to people who looked like him. …On Aug. 22, Leonte Benton took over as president of T. Dallas Smith & Co., marking the firm’s first leadership change. Benton, 38, started as Smith’s intern when the company was being built, and every T. Dallas Smith & Co. executive was quick to say Benton was groomed for this day. …“I enjoy both his input and his insights and his understanding of the community issues that are so important to all of us,” Morris said of Smith, who is also on the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents.


The Augusta Chronicle

For Augusta students debt relief means less stress, more opportunity and higher retention

Miguel Legoas

Augusta University senior Anthony Veasley is among 43 million students who will receive federal student loan debt relief. When a reporter for The Augusta Chronicle shared the news, he closed his eyes, smiled and made the sign of the cross. “That’s a blessing,” he said. It may also be a blessing for college graduation and retention rates, especially among students of color. …AU freshman Jazmine Medlock saved every dollar she could to attend her first year. A year of undergraduate tuition at the school costs just below $9,000. Medlock said she needed to borrow around $3,000 for the year. That means her entire debt would also be forgiven. She was wowed by the news, and said this would “absolutely” help her continue her education uninterrupted in the years to come. As a result, she is considering becoming a double major, she said.


Athens Banner-Herald

Ray Charles’ tuxedo, Lena Horne’s gowns, more on display at UGA exhibit for Georgia music

Andrew Shearer

A new exhibit at the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries uses the fashion and memorabilia from some of Georgia’s greatest artists to showcase the richness and diversity of the state’s historical impact on music. Now through Dec. 9, 2022, visitors can see “Georgia On My Mind: Finding Belonging in Music History” on the 2nd floor of the Russell Library at the University of Georgia. The exhibit includes more than 300 items from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame collection, donated archives and loaned memorabilia with a spotlight on Athens music. …The exhibit is a near-overwhelming walk through Georgia music history, from performance outfits worn by The McIntosh County Shouters and Ray Charles to handwritten notes from Gregg Allman and one of Lena Horne’s gowns. One of exhibition coordinator Jan Levinson Hebbard’s favorite pieces, a bedazzled purple suit custom made for country music star Ronnie Milsap, is in the library’s front case.


Statesboro Herald

‘Robot’ lawnmower debuts at Georgia Southern

McKeithen’s Hardware finds unique machine for GS

Holli Deal Saxon/staff

Georgia Southern University purchase this week of an autonomous lawn mower that does not require an on-board operator may actually be the first retail purchase of a robotic mower in the entire nation.  Bought from McKeithen’s True Value Hardware in Statesboro, the mower is expected not to replace employees, but to allow employees to better utilize their skills in other grounds keeping areas.


Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council providing suicide prevention resources, free dental cleanings

By Sarah Winkelmann

If you need help with a mental health crisis – all you have to do is dial 988 to get help anytime of the day, any day of the week. The new nation-wide phone number launched about one month ago. They have hired more workers to answer phones but overall the phone number is working like it is supposed to but they still need to get the word out that the resource is available. While the numbers from August from the new 988 line in Georgia won’t be in until next month – experts are expecting to see an increase in calls. Not only do they expect the easier phone number to have an impact, also they always see an increase in calls at the start of the new school year with teachers calling about getting help for their students. …They are encouraging you to get involved. Next week we flip the calendar to September which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council has several events happening including: Sep. 10 – Mental Health Symposium at Georgia Southern Armstrong Campus.


WGAU Radio

UGA study: 75 percent of teens don’t get enough exercise

By Lauren Baggett, UGA Today

Three out of every four teens aren’t getting enough exercise. The problem is even greater among female students. But new research from the University of Georgia suggests improving a school’s climate can increase physical activity among adolescents. School environments play a critical role in helping children develop healthy behaviors, like creating healthy eating habits, said lead study author Janani R. Thapa. And the same goes for physical activity.


Athens Banner-Herald

UGA graduate’s card game was inspired by her experiences as a Black college student

Andrew Shearer

When Lizz Rene first set foot on the University of Georgia campus in 2009, she knew she wanted to be there. Despite an awareness that she was part of the 8% who constituted the school’s Black student population at the time, Rene felt like she had stepped into one of the colleges she’d seen in the movies and on television. Inspired by her experiences as an undergrad and as an alumna, Rene has created PO’ UP!, a card game about Black collegiate life at HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) and PWIs (predominantly white institutions). The game launched in late 2020 and is currently available for purchase via Rene’s website at Inspired by entrepreneurs in the family Originally from Connecticut, Rene graduated from UGA in 2013 with degrees in international affairs and public relations. As the daughter of Haitian and Jamaican immigrants, Rene was the first college graduate in her family, but not the first to start their own business.


Henry Herald

TIMOTHY DALY: UGA Extension seeking applicants for the Master Gardener volunteer program

By Timothy Daly Henry County Extension Services

Do you enjoy working with people? Are you interested in conducting outreach programs for the public on horticultural and environmental topics? If so, you may be interested in applying for the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program, which is offered through the University of Georgia Extension. The program started in Atlanta in 1979 and is designed to help University of Georgia Extension staff transfer research-based information about gardening and related subjects to the public by training home gardeners. Through this program, UGA Extension can reach out and serve more citizens with educational programming and demonstrations. Volunteers help in many roles in aiding the local county extension office deliver horticultural educational programs and information to the community. Volunteers also benefit from the training, networking with other garden enthusiasts, and having the opportunity to serve their communities.


Henry Herald

UGA-led training prepares citizens to identify, report nature’s foreign invaders

By Maria M. Lameiras

The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health offers a unique opportunity for anyone interested in helping to preserve the state’s native ecology with its Georgia First Detectors Program. The next training for the program will be held at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on Sept. 30 and will cover information on how to identify, report and manage a range of invasive insects, plants and diseases that could impact Georgia’s natural spaces. The free training will be led by Triston Hansford, an invasive species and ecology specialist with the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, a joint program of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources on the UGA Tifton campus.


WSB Radio

Oyster farming could bring more jobs, millions of dollars to the state of Georgia


There’s a new kind of farmer on Georgia’s coast and they’re not growing peaches or peanuts, it’s oysters! Channel 2 Action News anchor Justin Farmer reports the state’s newest aquaculture industry will bring money, jobs, and seafood on the half shell to Georgia. This environmentally friendly food could bring millions of dollars to our state. Georgia oysters have the potential to contribute about $5 million to the state economy and support 193 full and part-time jobs, according to the University of Georgia.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Summer nights in the South are getting hotter, quicker

By Meris Lutz

Hotter overnight temperatures mean less ‘cooling off’ time for people, increasing risks for heat-related illness

Nighttime temperatures have risen faster than daytime temperatures across the Southeast during the region’s warmest decade on record, creating unrelenting heat waves that can have serious consequences for vulnerable people, farm animals and crops — including death. For Atlanta and other cities, the misery is compounded by high humidity, which boosts heat indices, and the urban heat island effect, in which pavement and buildings generate and trap heat, making cities significantly warmer than rural areas. …Pam Knox, an agriculture climatologist with the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, said Georgia farmers are also being negatively affected. “If you don’t have that cooling-off period at night, after about three days, you really start to have serious heat impacts,” she said, adding that cattle “don’t want to eat because it’s too hot, and so they don’t gain as much weight, or if they’re dairy cattle, they put out less milk.” Some crops, such as corn, will also start to fail after too many warm nights, she said. Knox said farmers will have to adapt by choosing different breeds of cattle, or perhaps investing in shade structures or air-conditioned barns, as temperature and humidity rise.



Students “Tech” care of themselves with SHIP

Rahul Deshpande

As access to healthcare continues to be a hot-button issue on the national stage, colleges and universities nationwide offer their students access to medical treatment and health insurance through subsidized plans. At Tech, Stamps Health Center offers the Student Health Insurance Program, or SHIP. Tech’s SHIP offers health insurance to enrolled undergraduate and graduate students as well as their eligible dependents that do not already have insurance. The plan includes comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental, vision, prescription and worldwide travel, provided by United Healthcare Student Resources. Under current Institute and University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents standards, having health insurance is mandatory only for select groups of students.



I-TEAM UPDATE: Judge orders monkey tissue to be tested within 90 days

Meredith Anderson, Joi Daniels

A big update tonight from our I-TEAM about allegations of fraud, forgery, and a cover-up at Augusta University. We broke this story back in 2017 when we uncovered claims that Augusta University lied to the federal government about how a research monkey died. It’s a complicated whistle-blower case, slowly unfolding in court. But the judge just made three decisions and one of them could blow this case wide open. So, let’s start with an order that allows samples of brain tissue to be tested.


Higher Education News:


Higher Ed Dive

Is state disinvestment in higher ed a myth? The devil is in the details.

A conservative think tank seeks to counter the argument that declining state funding drives tuition increases. But the debate is far from simple.

Natalie Schwartz, Editor

A commonly held belief in the world of higher education is that sagging state funding for public colleges has resulted in skyrocketing tuition prices. But a new analysis from a conservative think tank attempts to counter that narrative, asserting that state funding has actually increased over the past four decades when adjusted for inflation. Andrew Gillen, a senior policy analyst for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, found that state funding per student typically increased between $19 and $54 each year at the national level over that period.


Higher Ed Dive

Student loan changes could cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years, new estimate finds

Most of the cost comes from loan cancellation, although an extended loan payment pause and income-driven repayment plans add to the price tag.

Rick Seltzer, Senior Editor

Dive Brief:

President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel chunks of federal student loan debt will cost between $469 billion and $519 billion over 10 years, according to estimates released Friday by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a research organization at the University of Pennsylvania. Three-quarters of the benefits of debt forgiveness will go to households earning $88,000 or less per year, the estimates found. Other changes Biden announced Wednesday add to the price tag. An extension of a pandemic pause on loan payment and interest through December will cost $16 billion. And a new income-driven repayment program, which caps monthly undergraduate loan payments at 5% of discretionary income while preventing debt balances from growing for those making scheduled payments, will cost $70 billion — although it could cost far more.


News 4 

Student loan relief means opportunity for scammers to take advantage

After President Biden announced his plan for student loan relief Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers about potential scams. …The FTC is advising consumers to remain vigilant while waiting for the next steps concerning the debt relief program. Remember, you do not need to pay anyone or do anything extra to sign up for the new debt relief program or repayment extension ― only scammers will charge you in advance.


Inside Higher Ed

Teacher Education Programs Desperately Seek Students

Education colleges and teacher preparation programs are creating new incentives to lure students, hoping to reverse years of enrollment declines and fill classroom vacancies.

By Liam Knox

As the school year gets underway, a national teacher shortage has K-12 districts scrambling and job boards lengthening. The president of the National Education Association called the lack of classroom teachers a “five-alarm crisis.” Some students are returning to full-time in-person learning only to find their instructors teaching through screens, often from hundreds of miles away. Many teachers are overburdened by large classes, and in some cases, they are teaching without a degree. Some districts will start the school year with a four-day week to accommodate a lack of staff. The flow of new teachers through the pipeline has slowed to a trickle, in part due to years of declining enrollment in education programs. Now higher education institutions are looking for ways to reverse what has become an alarming national trend.


Higher Ed Dive

OPINION – No one in higher ed is fixing this overlooked crisis for instructors

Adjunct faculty members are struggling. It’s time to treat them like the valuable contributors they are, writes Chegg’s chief academic officer.

By Nina Huntemann (Nina Huntemann is chief academic officer at Chegg, an online learning company.)

There is a crisis brewing in higher education in the U.S. I’m not referring to crushing student debt or post-pandemic disengagement — although those are both major and important issues. This crisis is about the educators. In higher ed, it is a much-discussed but little addressed fact that many higher-education faculty in the U.S. are paid below the poverty line. Approximately one-fourth of the instructors teaching at U.S. colleges and universities are earning less than $25,000 per year, though the median household income in our country is approximately $67,000, according to 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. …It is high time that academic institutions begin treating contingent faculty in a manner that is more commensurate with the immense value they provide higher education. This means more competitive wages, increased benefits and job security.


Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Biden Administration Finalizes Rule to Codify DACA Program into Federal Law

Arrman Kyaw

The Biden administration finalized a rule to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy into federal regulation. The 453-page rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is scheduled to take effect on Oct. 31. The DACA program – which has been governed by a 2012 memo for a decade – has allowed unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to live and work in the country legally without fear of deportation. These individuals are referred to as Dreamers. As of Mar. 31, 611,270 immigrants were enrolled. Last year, a federal judge in Texas had closed the program to new applicants.


Inside Higher Ed

Fall’s Mask Mandate Outlook

COVID-19 masking policies for fall are all over the place. Disability advocates worry about what it all means for diversity and inclusion, though Temple U has negotiated a new way to accommodate high-risk faculty members.

By Colleen Flaherty

With colleges and universities now starting their third pandemic-era fall term, COVID-19 safety precautions—and faculty members’ thoughts on them—are very much a mixed bag. Take two Pennsylvania institutions, the University of Pittsburgh and Temple University, for instance. At Pitt, the faculty union and the administration reached an agreement that creates a new process by which professors can request adjustments to their working arrangements if they or anyone in their household are at high risk for COVID-19 complications. In exchange, the faculty union agreed to Pitt’s stance on face masks, which is to mandate them indoors only when community transmissions levels are high, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At Temple, meanwhile, the faculty union continues to ask the administration to break with Philadelphia’s mask-optional policy and mandate masks indoors, or at least allow individual professors to require them.


Inside Higher Ed

White Minority in the Midwest

Highly competitive private colleges follow public colleges in California and private colleges in the Northeast with classes in which white Americans are a minority.

By Scott Jaschik 

The University of California led the way among highly competitive colleges in going to a white minority student body. Last fall, the system’s campuses enrolled 51,727 first-year students. The largest ethnic group among the students was Asian Americans, at 18,127 (35 percent). They were followed by Latino students, at 13,573 (26 percent). White students represented only 10,152 of the total (20 percent). At some campuses, white students make up an even smaller share. At the UC Riverside campus, for instance, last year there were only 517 white freshmen out of a class of 5,203. And this is without affirmative action, which California has banned. Harvard University followed a few years ago and this fall is expecting Asian Americans to be the largest share of its first-year class, at 27.6 percent. With other students of color, the total minority enrollment is 57.5 percent. At Cornell University, 57.7 percent of admitted students identified as students of color. Amherst College followed the trend last year. Those colleges are all private institutions, and they do use affirmative action. Now the trend is arriving at private Midwestern colleges and universities.


The Chronicle of Higher Education

After Student Walkout, American U. Agrees to New Contract With Striking Staff

By  Marcela Rodrigues-Sherley

Sylvia M. Burwell was preparing to address American University’s new students Friday when a loud shout echoed through the auditorium: “Pay your workers!” Before she said a word, dozens of students began filing out in a protest of solidarity with adjunct instructors and staff members who had been on strike for a week, seeking higher pay. By the end of the day, American announced that it had reached a tentative agreement with both the adjuncts and the staff members, bringing to a close a chaotic week in which new students crowded the Washington, D.C., university while employees agitated for better working conditions. Service Employees International Union Local 500 voted to end the strike Friday afternoon, and next week members will vote on whether to ratify the new contract. Details of the tentative agreement weren’t immediately available, but union members said they had won higher pay and improved health-care benefits. The university didn’t include details in its announcement and didn’t respond to an immediate request for comment.


Inside Higher Ed

2 Bomb Threats in Less Than 72 Hours at Howard U

By Sara Weissman 

Howard University received a bomb threat Tuesday evening, swiftly followed by another bomb threat early Friday morning, DCist reported. Students evacuated the residence halls after both threats, but no devices were found. The first threat was made against Cook Hall, a residential building, at approximately 10:25 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, the second threat targeted the East and West Towers, also residential buildings. The Metropolitan Police Department and Howard Police responded and ultimately issued all-clear messages in both cases. “It was difficult for me to witness in person students sitting in Banneker Park and heading to trailers on Sherman Avenue and crossing Georgia Avenue on their way to Blackburn Center in their pajamas and sleepwear,” Howard University president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement. “This is terrorism, and it must stop.” Historically Black colleges and universities across the country have been targeted by repeated threats since January, prompting an ongoing federal investigation. Howard has received a total of eight bomb threats this year, including three just this month.