UGA makes a good choice for its next president

After the passing of journalism professor Conrad Fink a year ago, there’s no one at the University of Georgia I know better than Jere Morehead. I think he’s a terrific choice to be the university’s next president.

Morehead was the head of the Honors and Foundation Fellows programs for my last two years as a student in them (fall 1999 to spring 2001). He not only turned around — quickly and with little fuss — these programs which had been divided and in somewhat of a state of disarray after a breakdown in leadership the year before he took them over. He also built lasting relationships with the students he advised: I’ve lost count of the number of my classmates’ weddings where I’ve seen him in attendance. I do know the most recent one was in December, more than a decade after our mutual friend, the groom, had graduated. As a former professor, he has also, to my knowledge, been a good and respected friend of UGA’s faculty.

Morehead has built these relationships by being good at asking questions, listening closely to the answers and, when there’s a problem to solve, building consensus around a solution. These qualities will serve him well as UGA’s president. I will be interested to see how he adapts to being squarely in the spotlight, as he inevitably will be on a regular basis as president. I’m confident he’ll adapt well, even if he will bring a very different personality to the job than that of the man he’s replacing.

Which brings me to Michael Adams, now entering his final months as president after a nearly 16-year run. Adams certainly has butted heads with some other big personalities at UGA; former football coach and athletics director Vince Dooley is the most famous example. I would expect Jere Morehead to take pains to resolve such conflicts before they erupt publicly — although university politics can be a bitter thing, I don’t believe him to be naive enough to think others won’t sometimes see a benefit in taking the grievances beyond closed doors.

In the end, though, it is hard to dispute Adams’ legacy as one in which the university tremendously improved its academic profile, the quality of its student body and faculty, its financial condition, and its physical campus (with an impressive building boom, particularly during the past 10 years or so). Some people will point to the HOPE scholarship as the primary driver of many of these changes, and they have a fair argument to make. But it would sell Adams short to deny that he very capably capitalized on that external asset.

With the value of HOPE in a seemingly inexorable decline — as I’ve written before, this is true regardless of the different kinds of limitations one might try to put on it — one of Morehead’s most pressing challenges will be ensuring that UGA remains one of the “best buys” in public higher education without eroding its attractiveness to some of the best high-school graduates in Georgia and the entire Southeast. Another will be seeing that UGA, as a trainer of many of Georgia’s k-12 teachers, plays a significant role in lifting up that system and more of its graduates to the standards we’ve achieved in higher education. (Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, mentioned both of these goals during his remarks last week to the Legislature’s budget writers.)

I look forward to watching Jere Morehead tackle those challenges as UGA’s president.

– By Kyle Wingfield

51 comments Add your comment

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
10:02 am

Is Queen Pinko still down there attempting to corrupt those young minds?

Anybody that attends one of her “classes” it won’t matter who the president is, they’ll be lost for generations, if they pay any attention, that is.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

January 29th, 2013
10:07 am

This guy thought Newt ” Moonbase ” Gingrich was a good choice for President so….

Lauren Patrick

January 29th, 2013
10:08 am

Well said, Wingfield! Mr. Morehead deserves this role after all he has done for the University. At the Bulldog 100 dinner on Saturday, he announced this year’s incoming freshman class boasted a cumulative GPA of 3.8 and an SAT of 1270. Granted Michael Adams was president for 16 years, but much of the academic success in Athens can be attributed to Jere.

ABCD

January 29th, 2013
10:33 am

Michael Adams, the man who chose a bunch of drunks and cheaters to fill positions at his school. He hired a known cheater, Jim Harrick, because friendship trumped ethics for Mr. Adams. He pissed on a legendary AD, and then eventually hired a drunk to fill the position. He’s on the wrong side of almost every issue, the academic achievements of the school are more to do with the Hope scholarship than anything Adams did (other Presidents would have done the same with the influx of money and better students)….

UGA will be better off without this unethical scum running things.

td

January 29th, 2013
10:44 am

Kyle,

Where does this man fit on the political scale? It seems to me that Adams was pretty much a leftest. I know it is almost impossible to get a true conservative in higher education but more of a moderate is important for the lead university in this conservative state.

Ronald Reagan

January 29th, 2013
10:48 am

Someone from Georgia Tech would be better. There is more to life than “how ’bout dem dawgs!”

Jefferson

January 29th, 2013
10:49 am

Why does it cost so much ? Will this be addressed or will the costs continue to grow ?

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

January 29th, 2013
10:55 am

It seems to me that Adams was pretty much a leftest. I know it is almost impossible to get a true conservative in higher education but more of a moderate is important for the lead university in this conservative state.

Conservatives have already screwed up our state government.

They should be kept away from power in higher education.

I can see the majors now.

What are you majoring in ???

Fox News and Ann Coulter’s role in society.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

January 29th, 2013
10:58 am

You know, Cheesy, some people would have learned by now to give the partisanship a rest.

But people like you are apparently incapable of learning.

Politico

January 29th, 2013
11:05 am

Tiberius

Guess td was being non partisan with his question and comments?

Don’t let that selective condemnation flair up too much. That is unless you are as you say “incapable of learning”…….
Here comes the yips and yaps.
________________________________________________

Kyle: From what I have read, appears that a good choice has been made. Adams did a great job. Hopefully Morehead will even do a better one.

td

January 29th, 2013
11:08 am

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

January 29th, 2013
10:55 am

Yes those classes about personal responsibility, the American work ethic, work hard make money and keep your money and freedom of speech and thought would drive the progressives absolutely crazy

beanster

January 29th, 2013
11:13 am

Dr. Adams a “leftest”? Huh? Not sure where you got that one.

Congrats to Jere. He will be a great leader and is immensely likable at the same time. Win-win.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

January 29th, 2013
11:29 am

Great day in Georgia, great day at UGA, welcome aboard, Jerry. Adams should have been fired years ago, a self servicing, sanctimonious, left wing jerk, who did at least as much harm as good, probably more. Kyle, says Jerry is a “good listener” and that is what a President should be. Adams was much like Obama, a person, who so believed he was right, that he did not suffer anyone or anything that did not agree with him explicitly. Hopefully, Jerry will follow Charlies Knapp and Fred Davidson and leave behind the divisive days of the recent past. Things are looking up at UGA.

WOW

January 29th, 2013
11:41 am

Adams was and is Republican. Was Howard Baker’s COS, worked for Lamar Alexander, and ran for Congress as a Republican as well.

And anyone calling UGA a crazy liberal mecca has obviously not spent much time in Athens.

Just Saying..

January 29th, 2013
11:41 am

And Cons hijack today’s topic for lamentations on libruel vs god fearing values in 3…2…

Opps, too late…

beanster

January 29th, 2013
11:42 am

Some of y’all need to bone up on Dr. Adams political leanings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_F._Adams

Just because he didn’t get along with Vince Dooley doesn’t make him a Democrat.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

January 29th, 2013
11:46 am

You’d think some people could turn it off for one freakin’ article.

md

January 29th, 2013
11:49 am

Start with a class on “Life isn’t fair and never will be” in which the Stones song “You can’t always get what you want” is played on a loop……

Gramkn

January 29th, 2013
11:58 am

I think he is a great choice. While I was a business student at UGA, he taught the legal studies class I was required to take. He is one of the few professors I remember well. You could tell he really cared about the students, and he was gifted as a communicator and a teacher.

Hillbilly D

January 29th, 2013
12:02 pm

I’ll just come right out and admit I don’t have enough knowledge of what goes on at UGA to comment on this.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
12:03 pm

During a segment on Monday night, CNN’s rising young star Erin Burnett took over two minutes to dissect the president’s shooting claim — and she found it wanting.

“Obama the skeet shooter,” she began. “Yeah, I’m not making this up. I mean, if someone is, it isn’t me.”

“So, now you’re going to say you do it all the time, don’t you have to kind of prove it?” she asked

Uh oh, we got some dissent in Moonbattica.

Hey Erin :-) would ya like to come work at Fox News?

@@

January 29th, 2013
12:27 pm

Morehead has built these relationships by being good at asking questions, listening closely to the answers and, when there’s a problem to solve, building consensus around a solution. These qualities will serve him well as UGA’s president.

A true leader. Any chance he’d be interested in replacing our president?

Off-topic.

Cats killing billions of animals in the U.S.–BBC News

Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, killing billions of animals each year, a study suggests.

The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.

Writing in Nature Communications, the scientists said stray and feral cats were the worst offenders.

However, they added that pet cats also played a role and that owners should do more to reduce their impact.

How do ‘ya stop a cat from doing what comes naturally? I’m all for spaying and neutering but they’re still gonna stalk and kill.

Hillbilly D

January 29th, 2013
12:33 pm

How do ‘ya stop a cat from doing what comes naturally?

Kill ‘em. No matter the problem, the solution is always kill the cat. They’re just plain evil. (IWH)

Bruno

January 29th, 2013
12:40 pm

This guy thought Newt ” Moonbase ” Gingrich was a good choice for President so….

Cheesy–Apparently you missed the segment on PBS yesterday featuring Newt Gingrich and about 8 liberals on the Tavis Smiley show discussing education and the plight of the poor in this country. Newt made more sense than the 8 Libs rolled together. He even had Cornel West eating out of his hand before the segment was over.

Newt may suffer from various personality problems, but his care and concern for our country was on full display. I’d still vote for him today.

Bruno

January 29th, 2013
12:43 pm

Start with a class on “Life isn’t fair and never will be” in which the Stones song “You can’t always get what you want” is played on a loop……

Not sure how it can be worked into the curriculum, but I’d be all for a “Life Success” course to help guide the kids toward a brighter future. Especially for the ones who don’t get any such coaching at home.

The Ghost of Edward R. Murrow

January 29th, 2013
12:44 pm

Well, if Jere has any kids in school, remember that he is entitled to use money raised for UGA to throw lavish graduation parties for his kids (up to 10,000 per party as per Adams).

And, of course he can run any Athletic Director he doesn’t like out of town.

And, he needn’t live in the Presidents House on Prince Ave if he doesn’t think it is up to his living standards.

And, he gets a free pass if any Basketball Coach he forces his Athletic Director to hire winds up getting the program on probation.

And…ulm…shall I continue?

Adams has left quite a record.

md

January 29th, 2013
12:44 pm

Erin needs to stay at CNN, she lends them a bit of credibility as they have so few that haven’t sold their souls…….

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

January 29th, 2013
12:48 pm

Man, 69, accused of killing man who went to wrong house (AJC)

A Gwinnett County man is accused of shooting and killing a man who friends said pulled into the wrong driveway.

Phillip Walker Sailors, 69, of Lilburn, was booked into the Gwinnett County jail Sunday afternoon and charged with murder for the death of Rodrigo Abad Diaz, according to jail records and his arrest warrant.

Diaz, 22, was shot in the head Saturday night as he tried to drive away from Sailors’ home on Hillcrest Road in Lilburn, the warrant states.

jconservative

January 29th, 2013
12:49 pm

“In the end, though, it is hard to dispute Adams’ legacy as one in which the university tremendously improved its academic profile, the quality of its student body and faculty, its financial condition, and its physical campus…”

True words Kyle. Under Adams the University of Georgia went from just another run of the mill southern state university to a top academic institution.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
12:54 pm

What’s ur point, cheezy? The cops made the right call, it was murder.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

January 29th, 2013
1:04 pm

Edward R. Murrow,

You didn’t mention the penthouse he purchased for UGA in Atlanta and the campus he purchased in Costa Rico, both later disposed off after it was obvious they were money pits. The Jim Harrick hiring I had forgotten about, that really brought shame and humiliation on UGA. I believe he personally also hired Jim Donnan, ponzi scheme manipulator. There were more, but time erases ones memory, but never the smell.

@@

January 29th, 2013
1:04 pm

I’d still vote for him today.

Me too, Bruno…me too!!!! He’s a solutions guy.

Hillbilly:

Cats, at least, earn their keep. When it comes to rodents, cats are excellent exterminators.

You sound like my husband. He hates cats…I think it has something to do with their independent streak. He calls them “useless furballs”.

“Well ’scuse me”, I say. “Our dog, although I love him, has never brought us the first rodent.” To which he responds…”He eats ‘em rather than bring
‘em to me for disposal.”

md

January 29th, 2013
1:04 pm

“Not sure how it can be worked into the curriculum, but I’d be all for a “Life Success” course to help guide the kids toward a brighter future. Especially for the ones who don’t get any such coaching at home.”

Civics 101? We used to have such classes and then they went the way of the dodo bird.

It needs to have the basics…..how to open a bank account, how to write checks, how to address an envelope, compounding interest, why one needs to match an employers 401k contribution, etc……..

jose

January 29th, 2013
1:06 pm

I don’t know him but generally, one issue at colleges and universities is the tendency to revert to insular thinking. I think that times like these call for fresh blood and outside perspectives, rather than continuing the same old-same old. Oh well….

md

January 29th, 2013
1:08 pm

Go on vacation for 2 weeks and leave the cat and dog at home to fend for themselves…….the cat will be there when you get home, the dog??

Pete

January 29th, 2013
1:10 pm

It proves just how extremely far right some folks in our state have gotten when Adams, a known Repoublican, is considered a leftist. Scary!!!

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
1:21 pm

liberals always stick up for the rats.

Cletus

January 29th, 2013
1:52 pm

Mark Richt is a smart guy, they should give him the additional title of president and let him multi-task both jobs. The prez probably doesn’t do all that much anyway. The proper emphasis would then be totally on the football program, which is all most of us really care about.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

January 29th, 2013
2:52 pm

What’s ur point, cheezy? The cops made the right call, it was murder.

Thats not what his lawyer says.

An attorney for Sailors told Channel 2 the man shot because he feared his life was in danger.

“He is very distraught over the loss of life from the defense of his home,” attorney Michael Puglise said. “This incident happened late in the evening hours when he was home with his wife and he assumed it was a home invasion and he maintains his innocence.

I got a nickel says he gets away with it.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
3:30 pm

The cops got him locked up for murder, cheez it. Possession is nine tenths of the law.

What are you trying to say anyway, that there’s something sinister going on in Lilburn?

Mike

January 29th, 2013
4:02 pm

cheesy = wimpy

middle of the road

January 29th, 2013
4:04 pm

“and its physical campus (with an impressive building boom, particularly during the past 10 years or so). ”

Along with huge increases in tuition and fees. Especially fees. Good riddance with Adams.

Dusty

January 29th, 2013
4:31 pm

Well, UGA, OK. But my heart lies at Georgia State where my little darlings acquired four degrees, everything from geology to business. That’s the good place ( and nobody has ever heard of THEIR football team.) So mama mia…GSU is the live & learn place. MAYBE Mr. Morehead can make UGA as outstanding as GSU.

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

January 29th, 2013
4:54 pm

What are you trying to say anyway

What im trying to say is that when you gun nuts think about having guns so you can defend your home from the boogeyman.

You romanticize it. Conveniently leaving out examples like the above.

Guns kill. Period

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
4:58 pm

cheez it – My guns don’t wait outside for someone to mistakenly pull into the driveway.

Dusty

January 29th, 2013
5:04 pm

Bruno,

if you are still around, I was thinking about Newt when the blog was listing those who might follow Saxby. Newt would surely put a little zip and good sense in the null & void in Washington. The man is sharp intellectually.

He could also get together with Prez Clinton and talk about the good old days and ol’ girlfriends. The media could go crazy AGAIN trying to run Newt down. At this point, I think he could care less. Putting all that aside, I do think Newt has something that Washington needs, and that is a good mind familiar with history and studied conclusions. .

Dusty

January 29th, 2013
5:18 pm

By the way, do any of you feel sorry for poor Barbara Walters? Think of it! Probably the only 82 year old celebrty to come down with chickenpox .CHICKENPOX!! Of all things, there is just nothing endearing about chickenpox. Spots, scratching, watching the scars come up and all those fun things that have previously belonged to children. .

Goodluck, Barbara. May your polka dots be pretty and go away fast. And you may proudly say that you have set a new record in all kinds of ways.

Anyway: a pox on chickenpox!!

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 29th, 2013
5:27 pm

What was it the Lord said, a pox upon your house or some such?

md

January 29th, 2013
5:57 pm

“Guns kill. Period”

Yep, it was just the other day I saw this gun drive up to the store in it’s little gun mobile, hop out, sling itself into the store and proceed to shoot the place up. Then it slid back across the floor, out the door, back into it’s waiting getaway mobile and off it went……..I was stunned in amazement.

Cletus

January 29th, 2013
6:15 pm

Aesop’s Fables and other Lib Economic Theories
January 29th, 2013
3:30 pm
“What are you trying to say anyway, that there’s something sinister going on in Lilburn?”

FYI people who keep up with the news might remember a few years ago a high school coach and his son were murdered in a nighttime home invasion in Lilburn. Maybe Sailors was thinking about that, who knows.