September 2009

From the President
President Michael F. Adams on student life
Cover Story
Bridging a divide
Feature Stories
Hula Hoops, bubbles and plate tectonics
Leading by example
Clicking into UGA
The expanded Tate Center
Around the Arch
Best in show
Homicidal poisonings on the rise
Students spend a year on world’s longest book
Historic past unearthed
Med ed
Full bloom
No fish tales here
Autism education program expands
Putting the heat on high school sports
Kudos to Kupets
Nationwide Tour comes to UGA golf course
Arch news
UGA presence in the high court
Stimulus money funds curator
The day the music died
New Dawgs get taste of service learning
Former alumni relations director dies
Accreditation for Public Health
Fundraising record set
Researching PTSD and drug abuse
Lab rats and episodic memory
Can’t see the campus….for the trees
Going green with steam
Dormant fountains flow again
Picture this!
Stay connected with UGA
A decade old and going strong
Grass that thrives in sun and shade
Arch Partnership wins award
Tiny salamander makes a big splash
Alumni News & Events
Alumni Association Calendar
Alumni Profiles
Legal beagle?
All in the family
She rules the schools
Class Notes
Class Notes
Grad Notes
Class Notes Extras
In memory of Cayle Bywater
Ex-pat expert
Sweet Lantana
Arch trustee oversees public health interns in New York
Full of beans
Victor Profis
UGA law grad appointed to 11th Circuit Court
Atlanta alumni get new digs
Letter from Alumni Association President Vic Sullivan
Why I give
Back Page
Paige Carmichael

President Michael F. Adams on student life


Michael F. Adams

Q: In the broadest sense, how are today’s college students different from those of the 60s, 70s and even the 80s?

A: They’re very different. On the positive side, they are more focused academically and more goal-oriented. On the side of changes from their counterparts in the 60s and 70s, they are less socially active, more prone to overschedule themselves and, of course, more technologically savvy. On the not-so-positive side, they are a little more insulated from the affairs of the world than I would like and a little more concerned about professional goals and less about societal needs.

Q: How has that changed the way the administration does its job?

A: We keep our eyes and ears open a little more. We listen to the student leadership more. We don’t assume anything. And we provide more around-the-clock services. There are lots of lights on around here at 2 and 3 in the morning. I have seen as many as 300 students eating dinner at 2 a.m. in Snelling.

Q: What services are available to students to address these issues?

A: We have some dining halls, as I mentioned, open 24 hours a day. The Miller Learning Center is open virtually around the clock. We have research facilities that are open all the time. That means we need full police and security operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and there are expenses that come with that that we didn’t have 30 years ago.

Q: Are there measures in place to identify problem behaviors before they get out of hand?

Students gather on the steps of the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building before heading downtown for lunch. Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker

A: We have recently expanded the University Health Center, virtually doubling the space available to address student health needs, particularly the counseling function. We have more and more students, both in number and percentage, who show up here in need of social, psychological and behavioral counseling. This is the most heavily medicated generation in American history. After the Virginia Tech shootings, we created the Behavioral Assessment Response Council, which provides an avenue for faculty and staff to report students who might need help or could be a danger to themselves or others. Many of these young people come here with behavioral issues that, frankly, have never been addressed.

Q: How does the university handle alcohol violations? Are parents notified?

A: Parents are currently notified of violations of the university’s alcohol policy, but that process is under review. I don’t think we’ve made much progress, particularly with binge drinking, which remains far too prevalent to suit me. Nothing we have tried thus far has worked. I will receive a report soon from the Vice President for Student Affairs, who has been working with the Student Government Association, which wants to make changes to the policy. I don’t know if we will make changes, but I will listen to what they have to say.