Libby Morris named director of UGA Institute of Higher Education

Athens, Ga. – Libby V. Morris, a professor of higher education and graduate coordinator in the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, has been named director of the institute effective Dec. 1.

Morris, whose appointment is subject to approval by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, will succeed Tom Dyer, who is retiring from UGA Dec. 1 after 31 years. He has been director of the Institute of Higher Education since 2003.

Morris has been a faculty member in the institute since 1985 and served as interim director in 2002-2003. Her appointment was announced by Del Dunn, vice president for instruction.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Morris’s knowledge and skills to lead the institute,” Dunn said. “She will be an excellent director.”

Started in 1964, the Institute of Higher Education is an interdisciplinary unit that conducts studies on the functions and processes of colleges, universities and state educational systems. The institute focuses on policy and law, faculty and instructional development, and public service and outreach. The institute works with other agencies on the development of higher education, and prepares graduate students for careers as faculty and administrators in colleges, universities and educational agencies.

Morris joined the institute from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she earned a Ph.D. in higher education. Her first assignment was directing an assessment of health professions needs in Georgia, and much of her subsequent research has focused on health education policy, poverty, educational development and educational needs assessment and evaluation.

She teaches courses in evaluation and assessment and is author or co-author of four books, 20 book chapters and more than 60 other publications. She has made more than 90 presentations at professional meetings, including annual meetings of the European Higher Education Society.

She also directs the Institute of Higher Education’s Faculty Development in Georgia program, which provides support for doctoral education to faculty members at colleges and universities across the state. She is also active in professional development programs for faculty and administrators in China, Croatia and Tunisia.

Morris has written and spoken widely about the educational challenges and demographics of the “Black Belt,” a largely rural swath in the South strongly impacted by poverty, poor education and low employment. She was featured in a National Public Radio report on the Black Belt and has been a consultant to a number of federal agencies and organizations dealing with Black Belt issues.

Since 2001, she collaborated with the Advanced Learning Technologies unit of the University System of Georgia to support development of technology for instruction and assessment of online education.

She is editor of the journal Innovative Higher Education and is a member of UGA’s Teaching Academy. She is a past president of the Southern Rural Sociological Association and received the group’s top awards for excellence in teaching and public service.