Perdue, 75, faces many challenges in her new role. The 340,000 students enrolled in the system fell slightly last fall for the first time since 2012. Experts predict college enrollment will continue to decline in coming years as fewer students graduate. secondary due to declining birth rates nationwide.
Perdue comes at a time when college leaders, locally and nationally, are facing demands to make tuition more affordable as a higher percentage of students come from low-income households. Regents typically approve tuition and fees for the fall semester at their April meeting.
The new Chancellor will encounter increasingly disgruntled teachers. The American Association of University Teachers’ board of trustees is due to vote this weekend to censure the Georgia system due to an ongoing dispute with trustees over recent changes to the postgraduate examination process. , a move experts say could hurt faculty recruitment efforts.
Meanwhile, the system is still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Even with omicron’s waning surge, its five largest universities reported 125 positive COVID-19 cases last week.
And there is constant pressure on the system and its schools to produce students ready for jobs in high-demand, high-paying, emerging industries. The system’s six-year graduation rate is about 62%, but less than 50% at seven state universities.
Perdue will have some financial help, thanks to Gov. Brian Kemp, who backed Perdue’s candidacy for the job. Kemp’s proposed budget increases public funds for the system by about $400 million, to about $3.1 billion.
Seven members of Regents praised Perdue in brief remarks ahead of the vote, citing his gubernatorial experience, business background and time serving as head of the state Senate Higher Education Committee when he was in office. Georgia Legislative Assembly.
“Governor Sonny Perdue is extraordinarily well equipped to lead Georgia’s university system,” Don Waters said.
Acting Chancellor Teresa MacCartney will remain in the system and work as executive vice-chancellor for administration, the council said.