Athens, Ga.- B Arnett C. Mace Jr., who has been the University of Georgia’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost since 2003, will retire early next year.
UGA President Michael F. Adams announced in his State of the University speech today that Mace will retire effective Jan. 1, 2010. Adams appointed Mace to the position permanently in March of 2003 after he had served on an interim basis for six months.
“Arnett’s contributions to the University of Georgia have made this a better place for everyone,” Adams said. “We thank him for his stalwart dedication, commitment and service to the university community.”
Adams said Mace will work part-time for two years after his retirement to get the university’s medical education partnership with the Medical College of Georgia in place at the Navy Supply Corps School property. Mace has led UGA’s efforts to establish the partnership, which will train new physicians and health workers for the state.
Mace came to UGA in 1991 as dean of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. In 1995, he assumed additional duties of associate director of the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station and Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. He said his time at UGA has been the “most rewarding, both professionally and personally, of my 45-year career in government and higher education.
“Words cannot express how fulfilling and satisfying it has been to work with so many outstanding faculty, administrators, staff and students,” Mace said. “Their expertise, coupled with their commitment, professionalism and collaborative spirit, have inspired, challenged and sustained me.”
He expressed appreciation to Adams, his UGA colleagues, the Athens community and his wife, Barbara, for support and friendships that “have added immeasurably to the richness of my life.”
As the university’s chief academic officer, Mace is responsible for all perations involving instruction, research, public service and outreach and student affairs. His office also oversees the areas of information technology, institutional diversity, institutional effectiveness, international affairs, libraries and the Honors Program.
In addition, he is involved in major decisions on budget management and resource allocation, a point Adams noted in his speech. “I am neither exaggerating nor being melodramatic when I say that there are many people who would, quite frankly, not be employed today but for Dr. Mace’s extraordinary management leadership, particularly during these past two years,” Adams said. “And there are literally thousands of students who would have experienced an education of lesser quality and value if not for Arnett’s efforts.”
Strengthening educational quality and promoting higher academic achievement have been central themes of Mace’s tenure. He created special task forces to recommend steps to improve teaching and learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and put strong emphasis on use of technology and innovative teaching techniques in the classroom.
He has worked to increase enrollment of minority students and recruitment of minority faculty, and has been instrumental in expanding UGA’s extended campuses in Gwinnett County, Griffin, Tifton and Buckhead in Atlanta.
Before joining UGA, Mace was director of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida and head of the department of forest resources at the University of Minnesota.
A national leader in forestry education, Mace has been president of the National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges and was on the executive committee of the Division of Agriculture for the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and has served on the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Joint Council on Food and Agriculture Programs.
Mace has been elected to the Georgia Foresters Hall of Fame and received the Professional Achievement Award from the alumni association at the University of Arizona, where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus at West Virginia University, where he received his bachelor’s degree, and received the Horse T. Morse Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education from the University of Minnesota.