During the annual State of the University address on Wednesday afternoon, University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead highlighted the past year’s accomplishments, announced new initiatives, and thanked the UGA community. for his “tireless work” and service.
“As I reflect on the past 12 months – a year with no shortage of obstacles – a clear and compelling story emerges, the story of a community bound together by a deep sense of purpose, driven by an unwavering commitment to a shared mission,” said Morehead.
Similar to the 2021 State of the University Address, this year’s address was delivered to faculty, staff, students, and alumni as video instead of taking place at the university chapel.
Morehead did not acknowledge the nine UGA students who died during the fall semester. He briefly mentioned new variants of COVID-19, but did not discuss specifics regarding mask or vaccine mandates.
Of all of UGA’s accomplishments in 2021, Morehead said he’s very grateful for how the university has come together to strive to create a “more inclusive and welcoming learning environment.” He highlighted the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of UGA’s integration, the launch of 16 actions recommended by the President’s task force on race, ethnicity and community and the adoption of a plan to university-wide to advance UGA’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
“I was proud that in August the university received its eighth consecutive Excellence in Higher Education Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity,” said Morehead.
Morehead praised UGA’s athletic achievements, noting the first national football championship in 41 years, the 13 Olympic medals won by current students and alumni at the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and the national championship in the UGA Equestrian Team.
During his address, Morehead revealed several new initiatives to improve UGA. He first unveiled a five-year, $6 million initiative to expand active learning on campus, which will be a new focus of teaching and learning at UGA. He described active learning as “the process by which instructors guide students to actively construct knowledge” instead of letting students “simply absorb facts”.
Due to the challenges of the pandemic as well as the educational responsibilities of students, Morehead announced a major effort at the university that he hopes will create a more supportive culture on campus and improve mental health and well-being. be students.
“I am dedicating $1 million in private funds, over the next two years, to further expand on-campus wellness supports, increase access to quality mental health services, and help students be more active, healthy and successful,” said Morehead.
Morehead also announced the renewal of the ALL Georgia program for an additional six years. The program was launched in 2018 and provides financial and academic resources to support undergraduate students from rural areas.
Closing the 2022 speech, Morehead once again thanked the UGA community for their commitment over the past year and said he hopes they will continue to remember the mission and fundamentals of the UGA. university over the coming year.
“I wish you all the best for the year ahead,” said Morehead, “A year that I am confident will bring unlimited possibilities at the University of Georgia.”