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Sole UGA presidential search finalist Jere Morehead has ‘unmatched’ experience - The Red and Black : Administration

Sole UGA presidential search finalist Jere Morehead has ‘unmatched’ experience

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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 4:06 pm | Updated: 4:51 pm, Wed Apr 23, 2014.

The University of Georgia Board of Regents announced UGA provost Jere Morehead as the finalist in search for the next university president Monday.

Morehead serves as the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. He was appointed to this position in 2009 following a nationwide search process.

Since joining UGA as a faculty member in 1986, he also previously served as the vice president for instruction, vice provost for academic affairs, director of the Honor’s Program and executive director for the Office of Legal Affairs.

Morehead is also the Meigs Professor of Legal Studies in the Terry College of Business. He serves as faculty athletics representative and secretary of the Georgia Athletic Association board of directors, vice chair of the Research Foundation, a Foundation trustee and a Real Estate Foundation trustee. He received a law degree from UGA in 1980. He has won numerous teaching awards during his time on campus.

In a brief statement released Monday, Morehead indicated that more will be to come.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by the chancellor, the chairman and the Board of Regents as the finalist for president of the University of Georgia,” he said. “I look forward to making further statements regarding this wonderful opportunity to continue serving the University of Georgia after the board completes its process in the coming days.”

John Millsaps, the associate vice chancellor for media and communications for the University System said the next step is for the Board to set a meeting to confirm the finalist. A minimum five-day waiting period is required for public vetting before Morehead will be confirmed.

“This is part of Georgia law,” he said. “It’s a public period that allows the public to be aware of finalists for the position of presidents at Georgia’s public colleges and universities.”

The Board meeting will be announced as soon as a date is set.

Current UGA President Michael Adams expressed excitement in the naming of Morehead, with whom he has worked closely during his tenure.

“This is a great day for the University of Georgia,” Adams said in a statement released Monday. “The Board of Regents and Search Committee could not have found anyone more committed to the future of  this place than Jere Morehead. He is someone who has given the overwhelming majority of his life to the University of Georgia, and he will be a great and respected leader for many years to come. I wish him well in every endeavor.”

Other University administrators chose to wait to comment until the results were finalized.

“There’s process still to be involved, and I’d like to reserve my comments until the end of the process,” said Tom Jackson, vice president for public affairs.

Will Burgess, president of Student Government Association, found out Morehead was named as sole finalist in the presidential search through ArchNews, and was not surprised by the Board’s decision.

“I’m not at all [surprised],” Burgess said. “The provost has been very strong in his commitment to the students and the University as a whole. He’s a brilliant faculty member, great administrator and just a good person all around. He’s very good for the university.”

Marshall Mosher, vice president of SGA, is looking forward to working with Morehead due to their previously strong relationship.

“I’m extremely excited. SGA already has a fantastic relationship with Morehead and we’re really excited to continue that with our administration and the administration to come,” Mosher said. “He’s done an excellent job with this University and we’re excited to see what he does with his leadership.”

David Lee, vice president for research and executive vice president of the UGA Research Foundation, also said he looks forward to working with Morehead, based off of how past interactions have gone.

“As the vice president for research I have reported to him in his role as provost,” said Lee. “I have gotten to know him quite well and I’ve been very pleased at the level of support that he has provided for the research mission. He’s been very enthusiastic, very supportive of our efforts to encourage research across campus. And I’m sure he’ll continue that same spirit in his new role as president of the university.”

Lee said he does not know if he will be involved in the search committee for the new provost — there are many considerations for determining that panel — but he would be glad to serve.

David Williams, associate provost and director of the honors program, said he looks forward to working with Morehead.

“I could not be more pleased to learn that Provost Morehead has been named as the finalist to serve as our next president," Williams said. Dr. Adams said last week that no one loves the university more than does Jere Morehead, and I readily agree. He works tirelessly on behalf of the university every single day.”

Morehead’s experience at UGA is one of the reasons he was chosen as president, said Williams.

“I think his track record speaks for itself,” Williams said. “He’s very strong advocate for the University of Georgia and for our students and for our faculty. He has served in many roles, and performed very well in each of them, and I think the knowledge that he brings and the experience that he brings is unmatched.”

Joe Anderson, a junior majoring in economics, had been following the presidintial selection process and said he also feels as though the board selected a strong candidate.

"I am aware of the decision and I think it's an excellent choice," he said. "I like the fact that they chose someone who both earned a degree and is currently employed at the University. I feel that Morehead will bring a much needed change of perspective to the University."

Collin Montgomery, an advertising major from LaGrange, said he has been following the selection process a little less closely, but also likes the idea of someone from UGA stepping into the presidency. 

"He understands the clutlure of our University," he said. "He understands our values and I'm sure loves the people, so he just wants to make it a better university for everybody involved."

Ryan McLynn, a senior Foundation Fellow who works as an assistant to Morehead, said he saw Morehead's passion for UGA while working with him.

"I am very excited about Provost Morehead's selection as a finalist for the UGA presidency," McLynn said. "Working under his supervision for two years, I saw his passion for the University of Georgia and its students on a daily basis. I cannot imagine a more deserving candidate."

Vice President for Instruction Laura Jolly also commented on the high qualifications Morehead has for the role of president of UGA.

“He has just a strong commitment to excellence in everything we do in instruction to research to service,” she said. “And {he has a] real in depth experience in the University from, you know, just a range of positions that he’s held.”

But while Jolly offers her congratulations to Morehead, she notes that the process is not over just yet.

“I would just offer that congratulatory remark although the process is still on-going, you know,” she said. “The finalist has been named and the board of regents will take action at a future date, they said. So, it’s still in process.”

Morehead was selected from a short list of candidates recommended to the Board of Regents. 

In a tweet posted Monday, Professor of Journalism Barry Hollander called into question the process of naming an internal person as the only finalist. 

“I’m a fan of Provost Jere Morehead,” he tweeted. “But to name only one “finalist” for the UGA presidency strikes me as a bit provincial.”

Hollander told The Red & Black he feels that naming an internal candidate as the only finalist makes the search seem less broad than would be desired. 

“I think Morehead is a terrific choice as president,” he said. “By ‘provencial’ I mean that when you’re only finalist is an internal person, no matter how terrific he is, it makes you appear like your search really wasn’t a search at all.”

But Hollander, like Jolly and Williams, stressed that he is “a fan of the outcome.”

“I’m not complaining about the outcome,” he said. “I think the outcome is terrific. I’m suggesting the process doesn’t reflect well on the University’s reputation.”

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1 comment:

  • ugamd posted at 5:31 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    ugamd Posts: 13

    Congratulations to PRESIDENT Morehead.

    This is exactly the kind of man I would want running UGA. Highly intelligent, academically incline, capable, dedicated, balanced and knowledgable. I'm excited to see through Mr. Morehead's tenure.