Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another insider to get top leadership position in university system

Editorial

When the announcement first came, it was a bit of a surprise. However after the news sunk in, it seemed like no surprise at all.

The announcement came Monday. The Georgia Board of Regents said the sole finalist to become the next president of the University of Georgia was Jere Morehead, now UGA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

After a nationwide search, in which a committee interviewed at least nine candidates including university presidents and others, the regents selected the next UGA president from within the University of Georgia -- an insider. The full Board of Regents must vote on Morehead’s selection in February, but that will be a formality. Morehead will be approved and will succeed retiring Michael Adams July 1.

The insider pick of Morehead seems to be a popular selection. Reaction from Adams, university student leaders, regents, other educators, state politicians and Athens community leaders has all been positive.

“This is a great day for the University of Georgia,” said Adams. “The Board of Regents and the 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 here for many years to come.”

“He knows Georgia, he knows the state, he knows Athens, and we know him,” said Athens Area Chamber of Commerce President Doc Ethridge. “The transition will be so quick and easy because of existing relationships that have occurred over the years. It’s great news as far as I’m concerned.”

Morehead, 56, is a graduate of the UGA School of Law and will become the first UGA alumnus to attain the president’s position since Fred Davison in 1967. Morehead joined UGA’s Terry College of Business faculty in 1986. Adams tapped Morehead to succeed Arnett Mace as UGA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in 2009.

We like the selection of Morehead to head Georgia’s flagship university in the years ahead. We know of no one who knows more about the university. His long tenure at UGA will be a big plus for the new president.

The selection of this insider follows the selection of another insider, Hank Huckaby, who was chosen a couple of years ago to be chancellor of the University System of Georgia. These two insiders can work hand in hand to improve the University of Georgia and the entire university system. They know their territory and have solid working relationships with lawmakers and other politicians, community leaders, students and citizens from around our state.

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