Georgia Trend’s Susan Percy talked to President Jere W. Morehead in his office in Athens about the first year of his presidency, an upcoming capital campaign, a new emphasis on economic development and how he stays connected with the students.
UGA’s mission calls for an ongoing search for knowledge in all fields. Research and inquiry drive the university forward – and improve lives in Georgia and around the world. “To inquire into the nature of things” is the final phrase of the UGA motto and articulates the need for UGA to be engaged in the important issues of the era. A critical component of a world-class research program is recruiting and retaining the best graduate students, which is a focus of the new strategic plan for the year 2020.
Great faculty make a great university – and there are many great faculty members at UGA. They are committed to our students, to their research and scholarship and to serving the state of Georgia. There is no factor more important to the future of the University and the pursuit of our goals than recruiting aggressively and retaining a world-class faculty. That matters to UGA because it will help us accomplish the goal of becoming one of America’s premier public universities, but it also matters to Georgia, because the state benefits from the faculty’s work with UGA students.
There is no UGA without students, and students must be at the heart of all that UGA does. All that we do must accrue to the benefit of UGA’s students, and therefore to the state of Georgia. We prepare leaders for the future, we train future entrepreneurs who will build the businesses of tomorrow, we educate our future teachers, and we show our students how to become productive and successful researchers. This is what we are about and why UGA was established in 1785 as America’s first state-chartered university.
A strong and vibrant Georgia is good for the University of Georgia, and UGA will support the state's economic development efforts. A newly opened office in Atlanta will provide a closer link with the business sector and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The Atlanta office also will make the considerable resources of the university more accessible for communities, development authorities and Chambers of Commerce. The organization will take full advantage of the scientific, technology commercialization and tech-based business startup assets as well as the economic development expertise of the university to help strengthen Georgia's economy.
$M Return on Investment
for a UGA bachelor's degree. The return on investment for a UGA graduate degree is $2.7M for a master's degree and $3.7M for a doctorate.
$B Annual Salary Contribution
The 156,078 UGA alumni living in Georgia contribute $10,454,767,357 in annual salary to the Georgia economy.
$M Research expenditures
UGA spent some $245 million dollars on research last year. Over half of that was funded by federal agencies.
$M Scholars and awards
UGA awarded more than $4.5 million in scholarships and awards from University Foundation funds to undergraduate students. Approximately 13% of the new first-year students enrolling in 2011 received an academic scholarship.