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UGA's Adams warns of football, touts med campus

Outgoing college president also derides town complaints of campus growth

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 7:20 PM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 4:48 AM
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ATHENS, Ga. -- University of Georgia president Michael Adams warned against letting football become too powerful and called for the creation of two new academic divisions in his final State of the University speech on Thursday.

UGA President Michael Adams  Morris News Sevice
Morris News Sevice
UGA President Michael Adams

“(The university’s athletic interests) are increasingly dominated nationally by media and entertainment organizations and their values. We have worked hard to improve the balance, but it is a constant battle,” said Adams, who steps down as UGA president June 30.

“The academic establishment has to control the athletic establishment, not the other way around. Last year’s troubling news out of Penn State made that quite clear.”

While he was on athletics, Adams also argued against making Sanford Stadium into a bowl in any future expansions. “I believe the west end should remain open. The visible interconnection with and view of the central campus is more than just a pretty scene. It is a powerful statement about the appropriate place of athletics at a great public university,” he told a crowd of students, UGA workers and townspeople gathered in the UGA Chapel.

“I will come back and haunt the president and athletic director who close the west end of the stadium.”

The two most important accomplishments came just last year, he said, referring to the founding of a new UGA College of Engineering and the opening of the new UGA Health Sciences Campus in the former U.S. Navy School Supply Corps School campus in Normaltown. The Health Sciences Campus houses the UGA College of Public Health and the Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership.

“Taken together with the other academic units established here in the past 16 years, .... these constitute what is arguably the greatest enhancement of the academic profile of this university in its history,” Adams said.

Adams also said the university needs to establish a College of Fine Arts and a School of Marine Science. “Coastal and water issues will become even more critical in the decades to come,” he said.

Adams oversaw the creation of five new colleges and schools in his time in Athens: the School of Public and International Affairs, the College of Public Health, the Odum School of Ecology, the College of Environment and Design, and the College of Engineering. He also said UGA needs to beef up its programs for graduate students, called for an end to complaints from Athens citizens about how much land UGA owns and takes off the tax rolls, and said the campus still needs a carillon that might ring out “Glory, Glory to Old Georgia” every day at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Adams gave thanks to a lengthy list of administrators who have worked with him in the 16 years as the university’s head administrator.

“The academic standing of this university is much higher than it was 16 years ago, just as it had been strengthened by the good work of my predecessor, Charles Knapp,” Adams said. Average SAT scores are up nearly 100 points; UGA was ranked No. 4 in a list of so-called “Public Ivies;” and if UGA were a country, its medal count would have placed 26th among the nations of the world in last summer’s Olympic Games in London, Adams said as he reeled off a long list of UGA accolades and accomplishments during his tenure.

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GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/24/13 - 10:03 pm
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If he is serious about toning

If he is serious about toning down the college football, then that would be a noble undertaking. Let's see what happens. In the meantime, take a look at this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Comn_-FRY-A

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/25/13 - 04:16 am
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Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partner

Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership

Well, let's see. We were told the Medical College of Georgia still exists yesterday. Isn't that who UGA is actually partnered with? Heh, I love all these inconsistencies the stupid names are causing.

Techfan
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Techfan 01/25/13 - 06:23 am
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"Thanks to our friend Sonny

"Thanks to our friend Sonny Perdue, we've destroyed MCG in Augusta and thanks to our new College of Engineering, we're working on destroying Georgia Tech. As we open more schools, we'll pull students from many colleges and universities across the state. As we absorb those students, enrollment will drop at the other schools, allowing us to start defunding them, and our dream, and the culmination of our long term plans of having nothing but UGA and UGA satellite schools across the state."

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/25/13 - 08:40 am
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Marine Science

To me, it would seem more appropriate to place all marine science academic facilities and faculty at Savannah or Brunswick. But what do I know?

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 01/25/13 - 08:46 am
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Or at least at Gerogia

Or at least at Gerogia Southern.

DanK
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DanK 01/25/13 - 11:34 am
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A record of achievement

UGA has definitely improved as an academic institution during the term of Adams. It is now one of the better comprehensive universities in the south. He has been a strong advocate in the University System of Georgia for improving the quality of education available to Georgians with UGA strong enough academically to keep the best and brightest at home. Between UGA, GT and Emory, Georgia has the best combination of universities of any state in the south. His vision and leadership has been crucial in lifting UGA to the level of those other two universities academically. Let us hope his successor is equally successful.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/25/13 - 03:39 pm
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Emory is a private college

Emory is a private college and not affiliated with the state system of colleges. Florida has excellent schools as does North Carolina. Both of those states have colleges superior to Georgia schools.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/25/13 - 07:13 pm
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The outgoing president of UGA

The outgoing president of UGA warning about the influence of football reminds me of Dwight Eisenhower warning of the military industrial complex before he left office.

DMB112
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DMB112 02/03/13 - 10:20 pm
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Well stated

People can gripe all they want. I highly doubt anyone commenting on these articles really knows anything about the USG or higher ed.

Everything Adams said in this State of the University is the embodiment of the University of Georgia. UGA is making strides. Morehead is going to take the university to the next level. It won't be long before UGA hits two new milestones: 1. AAU status. UGA has been a candidate for AAU before, but the lack of a medical school and college of engineering prevented the invitation. Boston University was instead invited. Now we have both tools in place. 2. UGA's endowment hitting the bln landmark. Currently, Adams has embarked on his 1 billion dollar fundraising campaign. We can hope that he meets his goal before stepping down. Once this happens, UGA will truly be comparable to UVA, Michigan and schools of the like. There is still someways to go, but we're on our way to make it happen.

Georgia is going to need UGA and Georgia Tech as economic catalysts. Adams's tenure has been turbulent, but he's been a good president for UGA and an excellent figure in higher ed. I know Morehead will take all of Adams's plusses and combine them with his own.

I can't wait to see how campus and the academics will look in a year or two. Truly, the fastest growing university in the southeast.

It's great to be a Bulldog!

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