A Message from the Provost

Small improvements add up to giant steps forward over time. With every change we’ve seen over the last year, the mission has remained. I thank everyone for their hard work, and I encourage everyone to continue to speak up and offer ideas and solutions to myself and my team.

Over the past year, the Division of Academic Affairs has worked on developing new degree programs. Our commitment to public impact teaching and research means that we must provide our students with the skills they will need for their careers both today and tomorrow. As such, we are proposing three new programs this spring to USG. They are: Hospitality and Tourism (Nexus), Biomedical Sciences (BS), and Advanced Material Science (PhD). These programs are the first phase of a multi-year strategy that will allow our students to build credentials as they progress to their final degree with us.

Another way we are seeing improvement is to elevate communication. For example, I was happy to take part in a town hall discussion with the College of Education, where I introduced new interim deans, Dr. Meca Williams-Johnson and Dr. Jeff Garland. Both have demonstrated leadership and have proven their capabilities. I am pleased to report that they are rising to the challenge of leading the college while we search for a new dean this semester. If you have any questions, comments or concerns for me or the Academic Affairs team, I encourage you to attend the upcoming Conversations with the Provost. The dates and times and locations are:

  • Feb. 12, 4 p.m. at the Statesboro Campus, IAB 2029
  • March 19, 4 p.m. at the Armstrong Campus, Health Professions 160

We have more scheduled for later in the spring, and I’m happy to do more town halls with other colleges if desired.

On our path to research excellence, we’ve seen tremendous growth. For the first time in Georgia Southern’s history, our research expenditures were more than $40 million in FY 2023. This is a 10% uptick from last year, and comes with a federal expenditures increase of 36%. The Office of Research has put in countless hours and teamed up with many faculty members to reach this impressive milestone, and we hope to continue this trend as a new Vice President of Research and Economic Development, Dr. David Weindorf, joins us in April.

Finally, I'd like to take a moment to congratulate Dr. Elise Cain in the College of Education for being an Emerging Scholar recipient of the 2024 ACPA Association Awards. Her efforts and research on rural education truly make an impact.

The small improvements we’ve made are starting to come to fruition, but we are not done. My office is here to support you. Together, we will lead Academic Affairs as we continue to improve, to grow, and to soar.


New Student Convocation Nominations Are Open

The Office of the Provost seeks nominations for student speakers for New Student Convocation this August. The theme of Convocation is embracing growth. We are looking for undergraduates who are effective communicators and have a compelling personal story about growth at Georgia Southern.

Please consider submitting a nomination through this form. Just the act of being nominated by a faculty or staff member is very meaningful to most students. Nominees will be invited to submit an idea for a speech in a one-minute video. 

Please direct questions to Chris Caplinger, Provost Faculty Fellow, at [email protected].

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