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Outstanding Alumni – Kathy Pharr (EdD 2011)

Betz Kerley

Kathy Pharr likes to refer to herself as a “Triple Dawg.” All three of her degrees were obtained at the University of Georgia. A career path can take many twists and turns along the way. Pharr obtained a degree in Broadcast Journalism and became a newscaster. Goals changed and a Masters in Public Administration helped her to become an assistant to UGA President, Michael Adams. Then, a doctorate from the Institute of Higher Education led to the position of chief of staff for the University of Georgia’s newly appointed president, Jere Morehead.

Kathy has hit the ground running with her new position and considers this latest opportunity to be her dream job. “As chief of staff, I am responsible for the overall organization and administration of the President’s Office. I serve as the liaison to the UGA Foundation, the UGA Research Foundation and with the Office of University System Chancellor,” explains Pharr. “I also serve as the president’s liaison on issues regarding academic and faculty affairs,” she adds.

This is just a partial list of her duties. The directors of Legal Affairs, EOO and Internal Audit report through Pharr to the president, and the assistants to the president also report to her. To top things off, Pharr oversees the management of the president’s Sky Suite during football season and the operations of the President’s House.

Pharr had realized once she decided to pursue a career in higher education, obtaining a terminal degree was a required commodity for many senior positions. That’s where the Institute of Higher Education came into play.

“The [Executive] program is fast-paced and rigorous, but it’s the perfect model for a working professional who desires the opportunity for advancement.”

“The model of the [Executive] program – accelerated with a focus on practical training over a two-year period – was exactly what I was seeking. I was familiar with the quality of the nationally ranked program at the Institute and thought it would be a good investment. I would say it is well worth it [and] it has already paid dividends for me.”

Kathy warns students interested in the IHE, “You’d better be ready to work! The EdD program is fast-paced and rigorous, but it’s the perfect model for a working professional who desires the opportunity for advancement.”

This “Triple Dawg” is also a “Triple Threat.” With a background in journalism, knowledge of public administration and a doctorate from the Institute of Higher Education, there will be no stopping Kathy Pharr from conquering every challenge that crosses her path.

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EdD, 2011

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