September 30, 2022

The new academic year is off to a great start. This year, the University of Georgia welcomed its largest and one of its most academically qualified freshman classes. More than 6,200 new first-year students enrolled at UGA, selected from a record number of nearly 40,000 applicants. These students also form a highly diverse class. Preliminary data show that 31% of incoming students self-identify as a member of a minority group. Thirteen percent of first-year students are the first in their families to attend college, up from 8% last year. 
We also welcomed 302 new faculty members to our campus. Many are continuing our faculty development program, New Faculty Academy – Keys to UGA. I’m confident these new faculty will play a significant role in advancing excellence in teaching, research, and service at the university.
While fall is often associated with football season on college campuses, it is also rankings season. The recent release of U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 ranking placed UGA at No. 16, marking the seventh consecutive year we have placed in the top 20. 
Our commitment to teaching, research and service is also reflected by our No. 10 ranking in the latest list of Top Public Universities in the U.S. by the rankings platform Niche. The ranking is based on an analysis of academic, admissions, financial and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education and compares more than 500 public colleges and state universities.
In the Office of the Provost, you will see some familiar faces in new roles this year. 
Marisa Pagnattaro began work as our new vice president for instruction on June 1. Over the course of her career at the University of Georgia, Marisa has exemplified innovative and engaging instruction and worked with units across our campuses to enhance teaching and learning. As vice president for instruction, she will provide strategic leadership for campus-wide initiatives that enhance teaching and learning at UGA. She also will oversee student recruitment, retention and financial aid.
This summer, Margaret A. “Meg” Amstutz was named dean of the Jere W. Morehead Honors College. Meg previously served as associate provost for academic programs and chief of staff in our office. In her new position, she will oversee the operations of the college as well as the campus-wide Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and the Foundation Fellowship, the university’s top academic scholarship.
Martin Kagel was named associate provost for global engagement in August. Martin is the A.G. Steer Professor in Goethe Studies and served as associate dean for humanities and international studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences from 2016 to 2021. In his new role, he will provide leadership for study abroad programs, UGA’s international centers, immigration services and international partnerships.
During its meeting on Sept. 28, the University Council approved a set of policy revisions from the Faculty Affairs Committee, Committee on Statutes, By-Laws and Committee, and the Faculty Post Tenure Review Committee. These revised policies will go to the USG for review. I want to thank all members of these committee, as well as members of the Working Group on Faculty Evaluation Policy and Practice, for their dedication and hard work during the last eleven months.
As we look ahead, our office is committed to building upon the momentum the University of Georgia has generated in recent years. We are focused on reaching the goals of our 2025 Strategic Plan: promoting excellence in teaching and learning; growing research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and strengthening partnerships with communities across Georgia and around the world. Working together, we have made tremendous progress toward these goals and I’m excited to see the additional advances we will make this year. Again, my thanks to our faculty and staff for your service to our university and your support of our students.
 Best wishes,
 S. Jack Hu
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

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Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost · Administration Building · University of Georgia · Athens, GA 30602-5023 · USA

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