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Michael F. Adams: Wikis

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Michael F. Adams is the president of the University of Georgia.

Adams began his career in education as faculty at Ohio State University 1973-1975. He later served as vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine University 1982-1988.

Adams was president of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky for nine years, 1988-1997. While Adams was president at Centre, the endowment tripled to $120 million, faculty salaries nearly doubled, and Centre was usually first in the nation in percentage of alumni making donations to the school each year.

Since 1997 Adams has served as president of the University of Georgia. Adams grew up in Georgia until the ninth grade.

He is currently serving a two-year term as president of the Southeastern Conference.

Prior to entering higher education, Adams held a number of political positions. He served as chief of staff for Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker 1975-1979 and as an aide to Governor Lamar Alexander of Tennessee 1980-1982. Adams was the Republican nominee for the United States House of Representatives in 1980 for Tennessee's Fifth District, but he lost the general election to Democrat Bill Boner 118,506 votes (65.4%) to 62,746 (34.6%)

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Education

Adams holds a B.A., speech and history, David Lipscomb College, 1970; M.A., communication research methodologies, Ohio State University, 1971; Ph.D., political communication, Ohio State University, 1973). To support himself during the OSU years, he served as minister at the Indian Springs Church of Christ in Columbus.

Struggles and Controversies

President Adams is a controversial figure at the University of Georgia. Adams fired Football Coach Jim Donnan against the wishes of athletic director Vince Dooley in 2000 after the Bulldogs struggled to two consecutive 8-win seasons, and 3 consecutive losses against Georgia Tech. Adams was widely unpopular among the student body, receiving boos at Sanford Stadium during halftime of the 2003 homecoming football game. Also in 2003, alumni and fans of the university marched on the Georgia state capitol with petitions signed by 60,000 people, demanding his dismissal.[1] He also is unpopular with numerous alumni who withhold contributions to the university due to personality conflicts with President Adams and the president's dismissal of athletics director Vince Dooley.[2]

In a March 2004 poll of the faculty of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in the University of Georgia, seven out of ten faculty members stated that they had no confidence in Adams. Additionally, in a 2004 statement the Franklin faculty senate expressed concern of a decline in excellence during Adams' tenure.[3]

President Adams was a subject of a critical forensic audit dated October 24, 2003 by Deloitte & Touche, LLP that criticized Adams's stewardship, including but not limited to (i) expenditures for which Adams later reimbursed the University of Georgia, (ii) a stipend given to his wife, Mary, (iii) Adams's oversight of the purchase of an ecolodge in Costa Rica, (iv) and a secret payment by Adams to former football coach Jim Donnan.[4]

In 2007, Adams worked to establish the Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology on the University's Athens campus, stating "The creation of the School of Ecology is a historic commitment by the university to this essential field of study. Environmental issues are key as we think about economic success and sustainability for our children and grandchildren." Unfortunately during the same year, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL), a 50+ year UGA institution originally founded by Dr. Odum and located on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site was significantly downsized due to reduced funding from DOE. Despite widespread public and political support for SREL, including letters from the four Republican GA/SC senators, SREL was forced to consider closing its doors. However, funding from a diversity of other sources was able to keep the lab open, but with substantial loss of budget and personnel.

Advocacy of NCAA football playoff

On January 8, 2008 Adams made national news when, as chairman of the NCAA executive committee, he advocated establishing an eight team playoff for an NCAA football national championship. Adams, citing the influence of the television networks and commissioners of the various conferences and bowls, noted that some recent BCS matchups had been disappointing and stated that the current BCS system is "undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."

References

  1. ^ "University of Georgia President Survives Year of Criticism". The Associated Press, 2004.
  2. ^ Carter, Kate: "Donors Give UGA Big Boost". Athens Banner-Herald, 23 July, 2003.
  3. ^ Markman, Ross: "University's Faculty Members Ready to 'Move Forward'". Athens Banner-Herald, 9 August, 2004.
  4. ^ Carter, Kate: "Spending Probe Irks UGA's Adams". Athens Banner-Herald, 13 July, 2003.

External links

Notes

  1. ^  William Prokasy, UGA's Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the time, served as the interim UGA president for 3 months from the time of Knapp's departure in the spring of 1997 until Michael Adams's official start in the fall of that same year.
Preceded by
Richard L. Morrill
President of Centre College
1988 – 1997
Succeeded by
John A. Roush
Preceded by
Charles Boynton Knapp[1]
President of the University of Georgia
1997 – present
Succeeded by
incumbent
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