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From the Director - 2012

Libby V. Morris

When I read through the pages of this issue of the Institute’s Higher Education IHE report, all I can think is “proud.” Proud to be at the University of Georgia, proud of the Institute and its faculty and staff, and proud of our alumni and students! To set this feeling in context, the Institute of Higher Education, like all UGA units and other system institutions, continues to deal with budget cuts, limited resources, potential negative impact from the economic downturn on our goals and activities. However, you will see that collectively we accomplished a wide range of goals, pushed ahead with our collaborations and activities, and experienced one of the best years in our 48-year history.

Once again, the doctoral programs in higher education ranked 5th among higher education programs nationally; in 2011, we graduated 27 doctoral students, the highest number in a single year ever; and we launched our first master’s degree program. Rather than recap the many stories of success contained within these pages, I will briefly mention other accomplishments and activities.

Congratulations go to recent IHE graduate Corey Dortch (Ph.D. 2011) recently named to UGA’s 40 under Forty, which recognizes outstanding UGA alumni who have made an impact in business, leadership community, educational and philanthropic endeavors. Corey is the senior associate director for Emory University’s MBA program.

The Institute is pleased to add Manuel Gonzáles Canché, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, to our faculty ranks. Manuel is bringing new perspectives and opportunities to our students. And, for more great news, we are searching again this year for another early to mid-career faculty member to join the Institute. These searches allow us to see the strengths of higher education programs nationally. Higher education as a field of study has matured and strengthened over the last quarter of the century, and I believe the time is now for us to exercise more leadership in the national debates on the issues and future of higher education.

In the partnership area, the Institute of Higher Education has collaborated for over a decade on important global topics in higher education with the University of Zagreb and other colleges and universities in Croatia. Our activities include educational workshops and exchanges (including two Fulbright awards to Institute faculty) and a memorandum of understanding with the University of Zagreb. I am pleased to announce that in October of this year, the Institute of Higher Education with our Croatian colleagues from three institutions and working cooperatively with the Public Affairs Office of the United States Embassy in Zagreb, will announce the establishment of the Higher Education Initiative for Southeastern Europe (HEISEE). We look forward to this more formal stage of our collaboration.

In closing, the pages of this magazine cannot begin to hold the accomplishments of our students, faculty and alumni. So, let me ask you to consider three requests: (1) Visit the Institute in this academic year. The Louise McBee lecture on November 1 is a perfect occasion to reconnect with faculty and former students and to meet our new colleagues. You may find event announcements at our website, (2) Keep us up-to-date on your career and activities by sending information and pictures regularly. We enjoy featuring our graduates in our magazine and on our web site and facebook page, but we need to hear from you! (3) Finally, consider a gift to the Institute in memory or honor of a current or former friend or colleague. While we are thankful for our continuous state funding, extra opportunities for students are made possible only through your kind donations. Thanks to all of the friends and former students who give generously year after year. All gifts are appreciated, and what each says to me is that IHE was and is meaningful to you.

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