Campus News

Memorial service to be held June 30 for late Obesity Initiative director

GRA Eminent Scholar Clifton Baile

Clifton A. “Cliff” Baile, a D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor and GRA Eminent Scholar in Biotechnology at UGA whose recent research focused on the physiology and biochemistry of obesity and bone disorders, died May 19 following a cerebral aneurysm. He was 74.

He is survived by his wife, Beth, their children, Christopher and Marisa, and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held June 30 at 11 a.m. at Athens First United Methodist Church.

Baile joined UGA in 1995 after decades spent on a career path that alternated between academia and industry. Most recently, he was named the director of the university’s campus-wide Obesity Initiative, which launched in 2012.

“Cliff Baile was an extraordinary Eminent Scholar who crossed disciplinary lines to bring the entire campus community together around the Obesity Initiative,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “He was a beloved figure at the University of Georgia, and I join in the deep grief over his loss.”

Baile was housed in both the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ animal and dairy sciences department and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ foods and nutrition department. The joint appointment—along with an extensive research background in nutrition—afforded him the opportunity in the summer of 2011 to start pulling together a diverse group of faculty, staff and administrators who had the desire and expertise to address childhood and adult obesity.

“In a few short years, Cliff Baile’s vision for the UGA Obesity Initiative has become a reality,” said Lynn Bailey, head of the foods and nutrition department and chair of the initiative’s maternal and childhood obesity team. “He recently confided in me that he was ‘having the time of his life’ and was so very proud of all of the accomplishments that were linked to the Obesity Initiative. Our mission now at UGA is to honor the legacy of Cliff Baile by working collectively to ensure that we maintain the momentum to accomplish the goals of the Obesity Initiative.”