So what does the chancellor do? Here are five things to know about the job and its duties.
1. It’s a big job. The chancellor oversees policy decisions and curriculum development for the state’s public university system. The system consists of 26 schools, including the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Kennesaw State universities. The chancellor and his staff provide guidance and set policy on everything from what academic programs are offered; tuition and fees; student disciplinary regulations and, over the last year, the schools’ coronavirus pandemic response.
2. It has a big budget. The system will spend more than $2.2 billion this fiscal year on classroom instruction. Its total budget is about $10 billion. Some state lawmakers call the system “the fourth branch of state government” because of its size and budget.
3. It is an appointed position. The chancellor is chosen by the Georgia Board of Regents, a 19-member group selected by the governor. Most Regents members are business leaders or have strong political ties. Wrigley’s current annual compensation package is about $524,000.
4. It requires political skill. The chancellor has many constituencies, and it’s often difficult keeping them all happy. There are its 340,000 students in the system and 48,000 employees, along with parents, college presidents, state lawmakers and the governor.
5. The chancellor wears many hats. Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Wrigley to his initial coronavirus task force in early 2020. The chancellor also serves on the Georgia-based Alliance of Education Agency Heads, a partnership with the governor’s office and Georgia’s education agency heads.