Campus News

Director named for University of Georgia’s new First-Year Odyssey program

Athens, Ga. – Timothy Foutz, a professor in the department of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of Georgia, has been named director of UGA’s new First-Year Odyssey program.Through the program, small-group academic seminars taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty will be offered to all incoming freshmen starting in fall 2011.
“Tim has a history of engaging students in instruction, research, and public service and outreach through innovative instructional programs, research mentoring and service learning,” said Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction, to whom Foutz will report. “He brings creativity, a student-centered focus and a range of administrative experiences to the First-Year Odyssey program.”

The First-Year Odyssey program is the focus of the Quality Enhancement Plan that the university developed as part of the process for seeking reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.The goal of the plan is to significantly improve student learning and the environment supporting student learning.

The Office of the Vice President for Instruction is leading a team of faculty, staff and students that has begun work on building the infrastructure that will support the implementation of the First-Year Odyssey Seminars.

Foutz has been a faculty member at UGA since 1988 and served for five years as coordinator of undergraduate engineering programs for his department and for UGA’s Faculty of Engineering, of which he has been a member since its formation in 2002. He was heavily involved in designing the academic programs offered by the Faculty of Engineering, whose members are housed in academic units across campus.

From 2002 to 2010, he chaired the curriculum committee for the Faculty of Engineering, which reviewed and modified proposed engineering curricula, including five engineering degree programs that were first offered in 2007 and another three that were recently approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

As coordinator of undergraduate engineering programs, he was responsible for student recruitment activities and assessment of faculty performance, as well as for preparing documents and coordinating activities associated with accreditation and assessment of the programs.

“The University of Georgia has caring and committed faculty who certainly influence the lives of students,” Foutz said.”I am excited about helping our incoming freshmen to make connections with the faculty and discover that academic life is more than a classroom lecture.”

Foutz was elected to UGA’s Teaching Academy in 2009 and has been a Teaching Fellow with the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning.