Being highly responsive has become an essential survival skill in the changing environment of higher education. Deftly building upon historic strengths as an access institution and proactively positioning East Georgia State College (EGSC) for continued growth, President Bob Boehmer announces the organizational restructuring and senior administrative hiring in several operating units.
Through strategic change management, EGSC faculty and staff are successfully working together to fortify the College as the premier access institution of the University System of Georgia. As a result, enrollment and graduation rates continue to grow, additional academic resources and need-based scholarships are available to students, and private donations are increasing.
Most of the changes have occurred over the past year and reflect months of research and study using institutional data to address EGSC’s substantial growth and the operational complexity that has accompanied the growth. Administrative processes are also being reviewed to provide greater efficiency in the delivery of services to students and constituents of the College. These proactive measures will also benefit future growth when the new 212-bed housing facility opens on the Swainsboro campus in Fall 2016.
With the expansion of four-year degree offerings, emerging academic disciplines and fields, and the developing workforce needs of the region and state, EGSC restructured its three academic Divisions into Schools in August 2014. Concurrently, the three Division Chairs were named Deans: School of the Humanities, Dean Carmine Palumbo; School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Dean Robert “Bob” Brown; and School of Social Sciences, Dean H. Lee Cheek.
Beverley Walker begins this August as Director of EGSC’s second baccalaureate degree program, Fire and Emergency Services Administration, the first academic program of its kind in Georgia. EGSC’s newest four-year degree will be delivered completely on-line and classes begin Spring 2016.
The Bachelor of Science in Biology, EGSC’s first 4-year degree, was added in 2013. Dr. Jimmy Wedincamp is serving as Chair of the Biology department.
Updates in the Academic Affairs unit include: Dr. Walt Mason was elected to serve another term as Faculty Senate Chair. Associate Professor of Business Dr. Dee McKinney was recently appointed Associate Dean of eLearning to capitalize on the constant innovation of technology and provide greater focus on the expansion and delivery of on-line degree programs.
Dr. H. Lee Cheek has agreed to direct the new Correll Scholars Program, in addition to his responsibilities as Dean of the School of Social Sciences. Dr. Carmine Palumbo will serve as Director of the Study Abroad program, in addition to being Dean of the School of the Humanities.
After first serving on an interim basis in their respective positions, Jordyn Nail has been appointed Director of EGSC Augusta, and Jill Kirkland has been appointed Director of the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE).
Within the President’s unit, Wiley Gammon is the new Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police; he transferred in April from Georgia Tech. Charles “Chuck” Wimberly was appointed as Athletic Director in July and reports to the President; he was formerly Headmaster at Thomas Jefferson Academy.
In the Athletics Department, additional personnel changes include: Christian “CJ” Pace is the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach; she transferred in July from Armstrong University. The Bobcat’s new Head Baseball Coach is Matt Passauer, who finished out this past season as the Interim Head Coach; he was formerly the team’s Assistant Baseball Coach. A search is underway to fill the Women’s Softball Head Coach position following Megan Smith’s recent transfer to Armstrong State University. Assistant Coach Mary Beth Dennison is currently serving as Interim Head Coach.
Student Affairs has undergone a lot of changes over the past year and taken on new areas of responsibilities. Changes include the addition of an Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Karen Jones, who manages the operations of admissions, financial aid and student records (the Registrar’s Office). She also continues to serve as Director of Financial Aid.
The functionality of the admissions, financial aid and student records offices has also been completely restructured to create work teams who personally assist students from the point of admission to graduation at EGSC. Some of the teams include communication specialists, Student Affairs counselors, increased responsibility for Assistant Directors, data processing, and most significantly, identification of a scanning and indexing service dedicated to the collection, scan and indexing of all incoming documents to increase the speed of access to documents for the entire Enrollment Management unit.
Another part of Student Affairs is the CHOICE (Creating Higher Education Opportunities to Increase College Experiences) Program. CHOICE is a grant-funded two-year non-degree program that provides intellectually and developmentally disabled students, who are traditionally excluded from post-secondary education, the opportunity to participate in college classes and develop work-readiness employment skills. EGSC and two other University System of Georgia institutions are among the first in the state to provide a college inclusive learning program. Three students successfully completed the first semester of operation in Spring 2015 and will be joined this fall by three new students. Director of the program is Mrs. Theresa Davis, a long-time Emanuel County educator.
Another new component of Student Affairs is the Military Resource Center, which provides support and resources to active military and veterans. Stacey King was appointed as the Center’s new Director in March; she also serves as P.E. Complex Coordinator. EGSC is designated as a Military Friendly® School on the 2015 list published by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned business serving the military community.
Following recent trends in higher education and the need to increase private support of the College, the External Affairs unit has recently been renamed Institutional Advancement. Additionally, the development, marketing and communications departments have been reorganized to give greater focus on expanding public understanding and recognition of EGSC and its important mission as a leading access institution, and to develop support for the college, politically, as well as financially.
Elizabeth Gilmer, formerly director of External Affairs, has been named Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Norma Kennedy, formerly Director of Marketing and Community Relations, has been appointed Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement. The unit's departments are responsible for a range of activities that provide the framework for building strong support and sustaining relationships with a variety of constituencies, including alumni, the EGSC Foundation, community members, donors, lawmakers, the media, parents, and friends.
Additional updates will be shared as the College prepares for future growth and opportunities.