Dear Students, Colleagues, and Visitors to this UWG Website,
After 19 wonderful and exhilarating years, I have recently retired from the position of President of this great institution. It was my pleasure and honor to be the last President of West Georgia College (1994-96), the first and only President of the State University of West Georgia (1996-2005), and the first President of The University of West Georgia (2005-2013).
Thanks primarily to the work of outstanding colleagues, great students and alumni, and wonderful friends and supporters, together we accomplished a great deal – during the past 19 years, the institution:
• acquired University status (1996)
• achieved designation as a member of a robust tier of doctoral comprehensive universities (2007) which led to the designation of Regional Comprehensive University in August of 2013
• started Georgia's first Advanced Academy for exceptionally-gifted high school students (1995)
• increased admission standards significantly: increased the average entering SAT scores significantly, reduced the number of deficiency areas to zero; reduced the percentage of the entering class on learning support from > 50% to ~ 0.5%; ~ 75-80 percent of the entering 1994 Freshman class being ineligible for admission by current standards
• increased in FTE student size by ~50 percent, with significant increases in admission standards
• awarded more degrees than every other presidential administration combined in 107-year history
• added more square footage than every other presidential administration combined
• increased capital projects funded/approved by almost one third of a billion dollars
• increased its endowment by more than ten times the size of its level in Summer, 1994
• obtained its first major endowment (its largest gift) to name a College
• obtained its first endowed chair, and awarded its first honorary doctorates,
• obtained approval for, and started, its first four doctoral programs, and awarded first doctorates
• obtained approval for, and created, Georgia's first and only Honors College (1999)
• earned national accreditation and re-accreditation for all eligible programs
• in the field of academic debate: won two consecutive national championships in (CEDA), qualified for the NDT for the 37th consecutive year, won the UC-Berkeley Invitational, beating Dartmouth, Northwestern, and Harvard in unanimous decisions
• achieved national dominance in Honors student research competitions in eight out of 15 years,
• developed and implemented three major strategic plans with campus-wide participation,
• completed two comprehensive Facilities Master Plans, with major campus improvements,
• documented a rationale for, and obtained approval for, a change in Founding Date.
Presidents don’t do these things on their own – certainly, this President did not! You did it, and I am grateful.
I am continuing on the faculty of UWG. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has given me the signal honor of being named a Regents’ Professor, and I serve under that title with gratitude and humility.
Before I close, let me give three rousing cheers for, and to, Dr. Kyle Marrero, our new President. He is an outstanding individual and will do a great job leading UWG to the next stage in its trajectory. I am honored to serve under him and delighted to continue to serve the students of The University of West Georgia.
Beheruz N. Sethna, Ph.D., C.C.P.
The University of West Georgia