This is a busy time at Georgia State as we prepare for the launch of a new and exciting academic year.
On August 23, we will welcome more than 30,000 students to campus for the second consecutive year. Besting records set last year, this year we will boast both the largest and best-qualified freshman class in GSU history.
And next week, we will dedicate our first-ever Greek housing community, which fronts Edgewood Avenue adjacent to the freshman residence and dining hall. All nine townhouses are leased and will house a total of 139 students.
At the same time that we prepare for an academic year that will be path breaking on multiple fronts, we are paying very close attention to the economy and how it affects GSU. As you may have seen in the media recently, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents this week approved proposed reduction plans of 4, 6 and 8 percent at the system's 35 colleges and universities. As submitted, GSU's 4-percent plan would result, for example, in the elimination of a number of vacant positions across campus; the 6-percent plan would eliminate 30 jobs through a voluntary retirement program; and the 8-percent cut would require that an additional 34 jobs be eliminated through the voluntary retirement program. None of our proposals includes furlough days, nor do they include a widespread reduction in force. As we navigate these extraordinarily challenging times we remain focused on assuring academic excellence and planning for even higher levels of future achievement.
To be clear, the budget cut proposals that were submitted to the Board of Regents are contingency plans to be put into action if Governor Perdue orders further cuts to the University System. At this time it is impossible to predict how deep a cut we will face as the year progresses, but the likelihood of a cut is high. It is, however, encouraging that state tax collections have been up for the past two months, so there is cause for some optimism as we continue to make our way through a volatile economic period.
We will continue to monitor the budget situation very closely and, as always, keep you informed of important developments in a timely fashion.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing many of you around campus as we kick off what promises to be an exhilarating year at GSU.
Mark P. Becker
'Outcasts United' author to speak at convocation
As they embark on their college careers, Georgia State University's freshman class will have the opportunity to hear words of wisdom from the author of the book they have been reading this summer. Warren St. John, author of "Outcasts United" - the university's book selection for the inaugural First-Year Reading Program - will give the keynote address at Freshmen Convocation.
GSU football in ESPN magazine
Georgia State's inaugural football program graces the cover of the current edition of ESPN magazine. Also, ESPN.com includes Georgia State football as one of the four features on its college football page called "Start Me Up."
Caitlin Dooley, assistant professor of early childhood education, received a $654,000 Learn and Serve America Higher Education grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. GSU's education faculty will use the grant to integrate service learning activities into teacher preparation courses. They will also increase students' civic engagement and academic learning through service learning activities in metro Atlanta schools.
Rusty Tchernis, associate professor of economics, was awarded $225,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to co-author "Dynamics of Childhood Obesity."
Deon Locklin, director of the public performance and management group, has received a $225,201 research grant from the Governor's Office of Customer Service. Locklin also will conduct satisfaction research with a $94,000 grant from Bright from the Start, a program of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
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If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chandler Brown.