Connecting Faculty to Our Land-Grant Mission

September 02, 2021
by Jere W. Morehead, President

As a land-grant and sea-grant institution, UGA has a strong and special relationship with the great state we call home. We have an obligation to extend our vast intellectual resources to improve lives and strengthen communities across Georgia. Our annual economic impact on the state is estimated at over $6.5 billion. A significant part of that impact comes from a far-reaching nexus of research, public service, and economic development activities. Faculty play a central role in all of these activities, helping us fulfill our land-grant mission.

Recently, for example, more than a dozen academic faculty members from seven colleges and schools have been conducting research in rural Georgia with support from seed grants awarded through UGA’s Rural Engagement Faculty Workshop. Partnering with outreach faculty from UGA Extension, the Archway Partnership, and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, they are working on critical community-based issues such as infrastructure management, food safety, substance use, and maternal and infant health.

Translating faculty research into marketable products and services is another way that UGA strengthens our home state. UGA is ranked No. 1 nationally for sending research-based products to market, and we rank fourth for the number of active licenses with industry partners. This fall, the University will open the first phase of the Interdisciplinary STEM Research Complex, expanding our faculty’s ability to conduct research that leads to new products and services that improve our quality of life. The Innovation District, including UGA’s new Office of Business Engagement and Innovation, is further increasing the impact of our faculty by helping them commercialize their discoveries and partner with industry leaders.

The University of Georgia is proud to be classified as a research-intensive, community-engaged university and an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University. Our faculty are key to these achievements, and I am grateful for all they do to advance our institution and the state of Georgia.