August 17, 2023
This week the University of Georgia welcomed the class of 2027, one of the largest and most academically qualified classes in UGA’s history. The 6,200 new first-year students were selected from a record number of more than 43,500 applicants and represent 470 Georgia high schools, 143 Georgia counties, 45 states and 14 nations.
In addition to new and returning students, we also welcomed 239 new faculty to our campus. Of that group, 115 are tenured or are in tenure-track positions. At the beginning of August, the new faculty gathered for a two-day orientation to learn more about advancing excellence in teaching, research and service at UGA and the resources and support we have to enhance faculty success.
Many of our new faculty members were recruited through a series of presidential hiring initiatives. The largest initiative, focused on recruiting faculty in data science and AI, began with 50 positions and was expanded by an additional 20 positions in December 2022. So far, 44 of the 50 original positions have been filled along with 10 of the 20 expanded positions. Our plan is to recruit the remaining faculty by the end of 2024.
A presidential hiring initiative in brain and behavioral health has been completed with five new faculty who will conduct interdisciplinary research on Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Another hiring initiative in integrative precision agriculture is nearly complete and has brought four new faculty members to research how technology and big data can be used to feed our planet’s growing population.
As with many of our distinguished faculty, I will be teaching a first-year seminar course this fall. I look forward to engaging with our new students. Together, may we continue to promote excellence in our teaching and learning, conduct innovative and interdisciplinary research and develop meaningful partnerships with communities across our state and nation.
Best wishes for the new academic year!