Forty new faculty members embarked on a five-day journey across Georgia beginning Aug. 5, passing through 35 counties and visiting nine cities, learning about the state's history, culture and economy.
Guided by Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum and her staff, the visits will also send a strong message to residents, businesses and government officials: We are here for you.
The New Faculty Tour, designed for faculty members who have been at UGA for two or fewer years, is back this year after a five-year hiatus caused by state budget cuts. Among the businesses the group will visit are Jaemor Farms in Alto, the Georgia Power resource center in Atlanta, the Kia plant in West Point, a bioenergy production facility and the CSX rail yard in Waycross, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. in Savannah and Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro. As faculty members learn about these sites, Frum says she hopes they will identify ways their work can benefit economic development efforts in Georgia.
A greater emphasis on statewide economic development is a key priority of UGA President Jere W. Morehead. The university has opened an Atlanta office and hired a director for that office, which aims to make the considerable research, public service and outreach resources at the state's land grant institution available to communities throughout Georgia. Frum and Vice President for Research David Lee are overseeing the office.
The New Faculty Tour is supported by the Office of the Provost, the UGA Alumni Association and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach.
Follow the tour across Georgia through a faculty blog at http://ugabeyondthearch.blogspot.com/ and by following @universityofga on Twitter.