Provost launches Task Force on Academic Excellence, law school's Ringhand included


Provost S. Jack Hu has launched a task force that will help develop recommendations to enhance academic excellence at the University of Georgia, with an initial focus this fall on the areas of research and graduate education. This effort will build on a recent multi-year focus to enhance the undergraduate experience that led to a number of critical improvements that benefited students.

The 23-member task force, which includes faculty and administrators from a range of disciplines, held its first meeting last month and will meet biweekly throughout the remainder of the semester. After an initial set of strategic areas of focus that complement the 2025 strategic plan have been identified, the group will develop detailed action plans and metrics for tracking progress.

"Research and graduation education are engines of discovery and economic opportunity, and the goal of this task force is to accelerate the university's positive momentum in these critical areas," said Hu, the chair of the task force.

The task force will consider a wide range of opportunities, including identifying strategic areas for future investment that leverage existing strengths and emerging opportunities. The group will identify structures, programs and incentives that promote research and collaboration across disciplines, as well as potential partnerships with industry and other institutions based on core areas of strength.

In the area of graduate education, the task force will develop plans to enhance the visibility of graduate education and to increase enrollment at the master's and Ph.D. levels. The task force also will examine support mechanisms for Ph.D. students.

For all of the above areas, the task force will define metrics that assess academic excellence and establish measurable, campus-wide goals. In addition, the members will explore approaches to enhance the global academic reputation of the university.

"I am grateful for the willingness of the task force members to serve the University of Georgia through their participation in what will be a rigorous examination of what the university does well and what we can do even better," Hu said.

Members of the Task Force on Academic Excellence are:

  • Casimir Akoh, Distinguished Research Professor, department of food science and technology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences;
  • Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English and director, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts;
  • Michael Bartlett, Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Pharmacy and associate dean for science education, research and technology;
  • Janet Buckworth, professor and head, department of kinesiology, College of Education;
  • Noel Card, professor and head of the department of human development and family science, College of Family and Consumer Sciences;
  • Marsha Davis, dean, College of Public Health;
  • Alan Dorsey, dean, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences;
  • Lillian Eby, professor, Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program and director, Owens Institute Behavioral for Research;
  • John Gittleman, dean, Odum School of Ecology;
  • S. Jack Hu, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, chair;
  • Rhett Jackson, Stevens Distinguished Professor of Water Resources, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources;
  • David Lee, vice president for research;
  • Donald Leo, dean, College of Engineering;
  • Tianming Liu, Distinguished Research Professor, department of computer science, Franklin College;
  • Anna Scheyett, dean, School of Social Work;
  • Richard Slatcher, Williamson Distinguished Professor, Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences;
  • John Maltese, Saye Professor of American Government and Constitutional Law, Meigs Professor and associate dean in the School of Public and International Affairs;
  • Karen Norris, GRA Eminent Scholar in Immunology and Translational Biomedicine, College of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Rosanna Rivero, associate professor, College of Environment and Design;
  • Glen Nowak, professor of advertising and director, Center for Health Risk Communication, Grady College of Mass Communication;
  • Marisa Pagnattaro, vice provost for academic affairs;
  • Lori Ringhand, J. Alton Hosch Professor in the School of Law; and
  • Steve Stice, D.W. Brooks Professor, GRA Eminent Scholar and director, Regenerative Bioscience Center, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


Writer: Sam Fahmy, 706-583-0727, sfahmy@uga.edu