Chancellor promises to spend requested money better

By Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATHENS, Ga. – The chancellor of the University System of Georgia told legislators meeting at the University of Georgia they won't hear him complain about budget cuts.
Hank Huckaby, who was in the audience as a lawmaker the last time members of the General Assembly met in Athens for issue briefings ahead of their legislative session, told his former colleagues that the system still gets one-tenth of all the money the state collects in taxes even after 30 or so cuts in the system's budget.
"Are we happy about budget cuts we've taken over the last four or five years? No, we're not happy about that a bit," he said. 
When the economy improves, he'll ask legislators for more money. In the meantime, he plans to make do with what's available.
"Will we whine? I don't know anybody in the room that likes a whiner," he said. "Our commitment to you, the people of our state, is whatever level of funding you give us, we're going to do our darnest to spend it wisely."
One example of stretching available funds is ending the practice of using buildings just a few hours Monday through Thursday. Students and professors will find classes scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday afternoons.
"Everybody cannot take a class between 9 and 2 o'clock," he said. "We can't tolerate our classroom buildings and laboratories to be basically vacant on Fridays."
The system is in the process of analyzing the space utilization of every campus building as a basis for considering whether to approve requests for new construction.
The chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, was pleased to hear that.
"That was news to me. I didn't know they were not going to class on Fridays," he said. "If the buildings are not being used, they need to be used."
Rogers also applauded Huckaby's initiative to target the 1.2 million Georgians who have already completed some college courses and try to convince them to complete their degree. The goal is to boost their earning power and increase the quality of the workforce as a way to attract employers with high-paying jobs to the state.
Some of those students may attend on weekends or online. Huckaby said UGA and Georgia Tech were behind the rest of the country in offering online classes but that he intends to make them catch up.


More Local

Fiery Accident Closes I-85 Southbound Overnight

Two semi trucks were involved in an accident in the southbound lanes of I-85 between the Newnan and Moreland exits in Coweta County Tuesday ... Read More


Man Killed in Accident Easter Morning

A male passenger was fatally injured in a single-vehicle accident in Newnan on Easter Sunday morning, and no charges are pending against the ... Read More


Rabies confirmed in racoon in Newnan

On Friday, a Newnan resident reported seeing a raccoon in their yard acting strangely and then running towards them. Newnan Animal Warden C ... Read More


Hwy. 54, Gordon Rd. intersection closed for safety project

Crossing Ga. Hwy. 54 on Gordon Road can be one of the scariest maneuvers in Coweta County. Thanks to a dip in Hwy. 54, it can be hard to see ... Read More


Suspect in Union City killing arrested

The man suspected of killing a Newnan woman in Union City in early April was arrested by authorities in Atlanta late Monday. Irwin Clint Dre ... Read More

Public safety officials converge for Mantracker

Public safety personnel and law enforcement officers from all over Georgia are crowding to Coweta County this week for the 2014 Mantracker P ... Read More