Almost 40 tenured or tenure-track academic faculty and public service faculty are traveling the state this week as part of the University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach New Faculty Tour, designed to help newcomers to the university better understand the geography, demographics, diversity, economy, history and culture of Georgia.
The tour began Aug. 1 with welcome remarks from UGA President Jere W. Morehead. The first stop was at Jaemor Farms near Gainesville, where faculty members saw an example of the growing agritourism industry and heard from Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black about the significance of agriculture to the state’s economy.
From there the tour stops are Amicalola Falls in the north Georgia mountains; the state Capitol in Atlanta; the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; Raleigh Studios and the town of Senoia; Kia Motors Manufacturing in West Point; the Little White House in Warm Springs; the Carnegie Library in Americus; the UGA campus in Tifton; the CSX Rice (rail) Yard in Waycross; UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant on Skidaway Island in Savannah; historic Savannah; the Georgia Ports Authority in Garden City; and Sandersville, one of UGA’s Archway Partnership communities.
The New Faculty Tour was launched in 1977 after the Georgia business community indicated it wanted to see more understanding and collaboration between Georgia industry and higher education. More than 1,400 UGA faculty members have made the tour, which has been held all but seven years since it first began. Those years-1991, 2003-2004, and 2009-2012-tours were canceled because of budget constraints.
“This whirlwind tour helps our new faculty members see firsthand the diversity in Georgia’s economy, its culture and people and better prepares them for the classroom,” said Jennifer Frum, UGA vice president for public service and outreach. “Faculty members who have taken the tour often have discovered ways in which their teaching and research can help Georgia communities address some of the challenges they face.”
The New Faculty Tour is coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach and is made possible by major support from the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost. It also receives support from the UGA Alumni Association as well as numerous other units and supporters of the university. Faculty members who have been at UGA for fewer than two years are eligible to participate.