“The Arch Foundation for the University of Georgia” was incorporated May 3 to serve as a cooperative organization in support of the university. The board of regents directed at its April 20 meeting that UGA sever its relationship with the current cooperative organization, the University of Georgia Foundation, and identify a replacement.
Attorneys for four volunteer “incorporators” filed papers with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. The incorporators are John Spalding of Atlanta, vice president and assistant general counsel of Cox Communications, Inc., and a supporter of the university’s Honors Program; Swann Seiler of Savannah, manager of corporate communications for Savannah Electric and president-elect of the UGA Alumni Association; Robert D. Bishop, retired chairman of SunTrust Bank in Athens and a member of the UGA Athletic Board; and William R. Childs of Rome, president of the UGA Student Government Association.
The four will meet in the near future to adopt bylaws and elect remaining board members, and the new board will elect officers for the corporation. It is anticipated that an early order of business will be adoption of a memorandum of understanding as a cooperative organization under board of regents policy 1905.
In consultation with the incorporators, a slate of university supporters has been contacted to serve on the board. The names of 16 volunteers who have agreed to serve have been announced, with others still to be confirmed. In addition to Spalding, Seiler and Bishop, volunteers who have agreed to serve on the Arch Foundation board include Earl Barrs, Knapp-Barrs and Associates land investors, Macon; James E. Butler Jr., Columbus attorney; Charles Campbell, Atlanta attorney and chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation; Chester Davenport, Washington, D.C., attorney and businessman, a former UGA Foundation trustee; J. Don Edwards, UGA emeritus professor of accounting, former interim dean of the Terry College of Business, and former UGA Foundation trustee; Norman Fletcher, Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, who would join the board following his retirement at the end of his current term; Sheffield Hale, chief counsel of the American Cancer Society and supporter of the UGA Honors Program; Jack Head, Atlanta investor and businessman, member and chair of the UGA Student Affairs Leadership Advisory Board; Sarah Corn “Abby” Irby, Atlanta civic leader; M. Louise McBee, retired state legislator from Athens, former chair of the House Higher Education Committee, former UGA dean of students and vice president emeritus for academic affairs; John McMullan, Atlanta investor and businessman, former UGA Foundation trustee; Mary Virginia Terry, Jacksonville, Fla., civic leader and philanthropist; and Ramsey T. “Bub” Way, owner and president of Way Brothers, Inc., automobile dealership, Hawkinsville.
Additionally, the university has proposed that the board elect one faculty member from a slate of three nominees to be submitted by the University Council. Eight board members would serve by virtue of the office they hold, including UGA’s president, the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, the senior vice president for external affairs, the chair of the University Council executive committee, the chair of Staff Council, the president of the Student Government Association, the president of the UGA Alumni Association, and the director of athletics.
Subject to election by the new board, UGA Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Henry M. Huckaby would serve as the Arch Foundation’s fiscal agent and an ex-officio non-voting member of the board. Also subject to election by the new board, Cynthia G. Coyle would serve as executive director of the new foundation, reporting jointly to the foundation chair and to the senior vice president for external affairs, with compensation being shared by the Arch Foundation and UGA. “We are most pleased that this strong slate of UGA supporters has agreed to undertake this important responsibility in support of the institution,” President Michael F. Adams says. “We are waiting on confirmation from a number of others who will round out the slate, and expect to have that completed shortly.”
The board of regents acted last month under its policy 1905, which requires among other things that the relationship between a cooperative organization and the university be in the best interest of the university. In severing the university’s relationship with the University of Georgia Foundation, which was organized in 1937, the regents directed that a new cooperative organization be identified.
As such, the Arch Foundation for the University of Georgia will be established as a private, non-profit corporation to strengthen and enrich the university’s academic mission by receiving gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations and administering those gifts in accordance with the instructions of the donors. Such foundations facilitate the use of private resources to help the university attain levels of excellence not possible with state funding alone. Among many objectives, gifts to the Arch Foundation will be used to provide scholarships for superior students, to support distinguished faculty scholars, to strengthen research and teaching programs, and to build vitally needed facilities.
The board of the University of Georgia Foundation, meeting on May 3, voted to continue in business even without regents’ recognition, and will seek a formal agreement with the university to cover shared facilities and services. Virtually all the funds held by the UGA Foundation are governed by donor agreements that legally require the funds will continue to support programs as the donor intended, regardless of which entity manages the endowment.
The board of the UGA Real Estate Foundation, which is a subsidiary of the UGA Foundation and thus will also lose its cooperative organization recognition effective July 19, voted in a May 11 meeting to terminate its president, Jo Ann Chitty. The motion to dismiss Chitty reads that “due to a change in circumstance” the foundation’s business will move to a new organizational structure. The action triggers a severance clause in Chitty’s contract with the foundation that will pay her some $300,000 in a lump sum covering one year’s salary, car allowance, country club dues and a performance bonus.
Commenting on UGAREF’s action, President Adams said, “The Real Estate Foundation has made possible numerous new facilities for UGA. The university, through its finance and administration department, has the capacity to service all aspects of these facilities going forward. At a later time, when more details are known, the university will have the means to facilitate other projects.”