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

Program aims to assist military chaplains

Entering into a combat zone is a life-changing experience and can have long-reaching effects that many in the civilian world remain unaware ... Read More


Newnan Walmart not part of statewide bomb threats

Bomb threats were called into Walmart stores around Georgia on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the Newnan Walmart was not one of them. Some of th ... Read More


Golden K give art in memory of Harold Barron

White Oak Golden K has donated funds for a piece of public art in memory of longtime Kiwanian Harold Barron. Malcolm Jackson, past president ... Read More


Coweta edges state in Career Readiness testing

Despite a statewide decrease in overall scores, the Coweta County School System outscored the state of Georgia in the College and Career Rea ... Read More


Home Safe

Alarm over missing child a simple mixup

County and city authorities were happy to locate a 5-year-old child safe and sound after she was reported missing on Wednesday. All four pub ... Read More

Luminaria fundraiser

Neighborhood rallies for Coweta Samaritan Clinic

More than 100 residents in one Newnan neighborhood are planning to participate in their first annual luminaria fundraiser. On Tuesday at 6:3 ... Read More