Leadership Statement

The University of Georgia is America’s first state chartered university and the birthplace of the American system of public higher education.

The University of Georgia is America’s first state chartered university and the birthplace of the American system of public higher education.



UGA LogoThe University of Georgia was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly on January 27, 1785, becoming the first public university in America. Today, the University of Georgia is a dynamic, major research institution which enrolls approximately 35,000, employs over 9000 including over 1700 full-time faculty, and has an annual operating budget of approximately $1.35 billion. Located in the celebrated college town of Athens, UGA’s main campus sits on a beautiful, tree-covered 615 acres of rolling hills. US News & World Report ranks the University of Georgia as one of the nation's top 25 public universities. As Georgia’s land-grant university, the University of Georgia takes seriously its mission to serve the state in a variety of ways.

The university is organized into seventeen schools and colleges.

  • photo of archCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
  • Terry College of Business
  • Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Environment and Design
  • College of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Graduate School
  • Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • School of Law
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Public Health
  • School of Public and International Affairs
  • School of Social Work
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

U.S. News & World Report ranks the university's undergraduate program 63th among national universities and 21st among public universities, while ranking the business, education, journalism, law, and public affairs graduate programs as high as 4th and all in the top 50. The same publication also cited the university as the No. 11 ranked "Up-and-Coming School" in the National University category tied with the University of Southern California and ahead of Emory University.


UGA’s rise to excellence in recent years is reflected in the quality of its students. UGA has produced 21 Fulbright Scholars in the past three years. Since 1996, the University has produced seven Rhodes Scholars, 37 Goldwater, ten Truman, seven Udall, six Merage, five Gates Cambridge, four Marshall, and three Mitchell Scholars.

The University of Georgia is a proud member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and its teams have won 38 national championships, 25 since 1999.

The University's Mission Statement reads:

The University of Georgia, a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities, is the state's oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education. Its motto, "to teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things," reflects the University's integral and unique role in the conservation and enhancement of the state's and nation's intellectual, cultural, and environmental heritage.

The University of Georgia shares with the other research universities of the University System of Georgia the following core characteristics:

  • a statewide responsibility and commitment to excellence and academic achievements having national and international recognition;
  • a commitment to excellence in a teaching/learning environment dedicated to serve a diverse and well-prepared student body, to promote high levels of student achievement, and to provide appropriate academic support services;
  • a commitment to excellence in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors that are focused on organized programs to create, maintain, and apply new knowledge and theories; that promote instructional quality and effectiveness; and that enhance institutionally relevant faculty qualifications;
  • a commitment to excellence in public service, economic development, and technical assistance activities designed to address the strategic needs of the state of Georgia along with a comprehensive offering of continuing education designed to meet the needs of Georgia's citizens in life-long learning and professional education;
  • a wide range of academic and professional programming at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels.


With its statewide mission and core characteristics, the University of Georgia endeavors to prepare the University community and the state for full participation in the global society of the twenty-first century. Through its programs and practices, it seeks to foster the understanding of and respect for cultural differences necessary for an enlightened and educated citizenry. It further provides for cultural, ethnic, gender, and racial diversity in the faculty, staff, and student body. The University is committed to preparing the University community to appreciate the critical importance of a quality environment to an interdependent global society.

As a comprehensive land-grant and sea-grant institution, the University of Georgia offers baccalaureate, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees in the arts, humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, agricultural and environmental sciences, business, ecology, environmental design, family and consumer sciences, forest resources, journalism and mass communication, education, law, pharmacy, public health, social work, and veterinary medicine.

The University attracts students nationally and internationally as well as from within Georgia. It offers the state's broadest array of possibilities in graduate and professional education, and thus a large minority of the student body is post-baccalaureate. The predominantly Georgian undergraduate student body is a mix of highly qualified students originally admitted as freshmen and selected transfer students principally from other University System institutions.

With original scholarship, basic and applied research, and creative activities constituting an essential core from which to draw, the impact of the land-grant and sea-grant mission is reflected throughout the state. Cooperative extension, continuing education, public service, experiment stations, and technology transfer are all designed to enhance the well-being of the citizens of Georgia through their roles in economic, social, and community development.

photo of archAs it has been historically, the University of Georgia is responsive to the evolution of the state's educational, social, and economic needs. It aspires through its strategic planning to even closer contact and interaction with public and private institutions throughout the state as well as with the citizens it serves.


In early May 2012, current President Michael F. Adams announced that he would step down from the Presidency on June 30, 2013. President Adams has enjoyed a successful 16-year tenure.

photo of archThe university's endowment has grown from $249.413 million in fiscal year 1997 to $745.765 million in fiscal year 2011. The number of endowed professorships at the university has grown from 92 when to 219 today, and the number of Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholars has grown from four to 18.

The university now ranks fourth in the nation in the number of students who participate in short-term study abroad programs. Likewise, the university's reach into the state expanded with additional academic programs at campuses in Gwinnett County, Griffin, Tifton and Buckhead.

UGA's physical campus has been transformed in the last twenty years, with more than $1 billion in new construction, renovation and infrastructure and 6.2 million square feet of new space completed. Signature facilities for research, instruction and athletics have been built or renovated, creating a modern, student friendly campus which also maintains its historic character.

University of Georgia's enrollment has grown from 29,693 in 1997 to about 35,000 students today, while becoming the most selective in its history and attaining its highest national rankings.



The President reports directly to the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia and the Board of Regents and is the chief executive officer of the institution. The next President will be a visionary leader who understands and appreciates the unique relationship the University has with the state of Georgia and its citizens as the state’s land-grant institution. The selected person will be a leading spokesperson for higher education in the state and will have strategic knowledge of the role and mission of a dynamic land-grant university in an ever-changing world. The President will also work well with the other presidents in the system and seek partnerships to extend its teaching, research and service missions.

photo of archThe President will be student centered and will be a person of creative vision, relentless energy, and unquestioned integrity. The ideal candidate will be a consummate fund-raiser and friend-raiser and will understand how to work with public officials whose support for the University is essential. Desired characteristics include an appreciation for an excellent faculty and high quality research, a consensus-building style of decision-making, exemplary communication and interpersonal skills, and a passion for preparing students for productive and successful lives.

Other qualifications and characteristics:

  • An accessible leadership style and an open and approachable presence... a discerning listener, approachable, trusting of others, and encouraging and responsive to the ideas of others.
  • Strong commitment to interacting with students, faculty, staff, and alumni and to being a central part of university life.
  • A visible presence, not only on campus, but in external communities; cultivate positive town-gown relations and establish and reinforce linkages to business, industry, and grant-making agencies.
  • photo of archA versatile, high energy, dynamic, and inspirational leader.
  • Strategic visionary who has the highest integrity.
  • Someone who understands the mission of a land grant university.
  • Savvy, practical person who can lead everyone.
  • An effective fund-raiser who can network effectively with various groups of people around the state.
  • Team-builder, consensus-builder and an excellent communicator.
  • Problem solver who has the ability to establish priorities.
  • Record of achievement in a leadership role.
  • Understands the academy and public higher education.
  • A caring person who is honest and has common sense.


Ben Tarbutton III, chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia (USG), announced shortly after President Adams' announcement the appointment of the University of Georgia (UGA) Presidential Search Committee. He announced a national search to replace President Adams, who will step down on June 30, 2013. Adams has served as UGA’s president since 1997.

“I am pleased we have such a great committee to assist with the search for the next president of the University of Georgia,” said Tarbutton. “The University of Georgia is a great institution and we expect that many strong candidates will be interested. I am excited about the search and look forward to working with Chairman Walker and the members of the search committee.” Chancellor Hank Huckaby concurred, “The identification and selection of a leader for one of the top public universities in the country is one of our most important tasks.”

The Search Committee, created as outlined in board policy, will guide the first stage of the search. USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby and the Board of Regents have retained R. William Funk and Associates, Dallas, Texas, to provide executive search consulting services.

The initial meeting of the Presidential Search Committee will be held on July 24 at 1:30 p.m. on the UGA campus, at which time the members will be formally charged with their roles and responsibilities in conducting the search.

Members of the Presidential Search Committee are as follows:

  • Regent Larry Walker, committee chair
  • Regent Rusty Griffin
  • Regent Don Leebern
  • Regent Dink NeSmith
  • Regent Doreen Poitevint
  • Regent Ben Tarbutton III
  • Regent Philip Wilheit
  • Dr. Alan Darvill, Regents Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Plant Biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
  • Dr. Steve Stice, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Reproductive Physiology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center
  • Dr. K. Paige Carmichael, Professor of Pathology, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and Associate Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Mr. W. Dennis Epps, Deputy Director, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, and Associate Director for the Vinson Institute’s Governmental Services and Research Division
  • Dr. Denise A. Spangler, Professor of Mathematics Education and Department Head of Mathematics and Science Education, College of Education
  • Dr. John C. Inscoe, Albert W. Saye Professor and UGA Professor of History
  • Dr. Robert Sumichrast, Dean and Simon S. Selig, Jr. Chair for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business
  • Mr. Jerry Daniel, IT Professional, Department of Mathematics and President of the UGA Staff Council
  • Mr. Will Burgess, President, UGA Student Government Association
  • Mr. William D. Young Jr., President, General Wholesale Company and Chair of the University of Georgia Foundation
  • Judge Steve Jones, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and President of the UGA Alumni Association
  • Mr. Rogers Wade, President and Chief Executive Officer Georgia Public Policy Foundation and member of the UGA Agricultural Engineering Advisory Board
  • Mr. Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
  • Mr. Larry Thompson, John A. Sibley Professor in Corporate and Business Law, School of Law; former deputy attorney general for the United States; and former senior vice president of government affairs, general counsel and secretary for PepsiCo. Editor’s note: On June 18, 2012, PepsiCo, Inc. announced that Larry Thompson has rejoined the company as Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective July 30.

Newly appointed chair of the UGA Presidential Search Committee, Regent Larry Walker went on to say, “I take the responsibility as chair of this committee very seriously and I am certain each member of the search committee feels the same. We will do our best to find the right leader for this great university.”



While applications and nominations will be accepted until a new President is selected, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials to our consulting firm at the address below by October 1 to assure optimal consideration. Please address materials to:

UGA President Search
R. William Funk & Associates
100 Highland Park Village, Suite 200
Dallas, Texas 75205
Email: krisha.creal@rwilliamfunk.com
Fax: 214/295-3312

The University of Georgia is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer