June 8, 2019 Atlanta - Argosy University Atlanta students personalized their mortar boards as they attend 2019 Argosy University Atlanta Commencement at Church of Christ at Bouldercrest in Atlanta on Saturday, June 8, 2019. A group is holding a graduation ceremony for some Argosy University students who didn’t get their degrees with the school abruptly closed earlier this year. The ceremony is being done by the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia. The students were pursuing degrees in that field. Some of the students scrambled to complete their degree work, but haven’t received degrees. Some students anticipate receiving degrees, but others aren’t sure they’ll ever receive the papers saying they graduated. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AJC On Campus: GT’s finalist, high rents near campus, Emory’s big gift

A few key personnel decisions were made last week this will impact several Georgia colleges and universities. This week’s AJC On Campus leads off with some of those changes and what rap star Cardi B would call some “money moves” for some campuses.

Georgia Tech’s Big Man On Campus

"President Ángel Cabrera. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University"
Photo: "Evan Cantwell"/"Evan Cantwell/George Mason Univ

The University System of Georgia announced last week that Ángel Cabrera, who’s been president of George Mason University since 2012, is the sole finalist to become the next president of Georgia Tech. Cabrera earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Georgia Tech. Here’s our initial report on the announcement. The Georgia Board of Regents may vote soon on whether to hire Cabrera. We’ll keep you posted.

New appointments

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp last week appointed Will Wade, a community banker in Dawson County, to the state’s Student Finance Commission. The board doesn’t get much publicity, but its work is important. The commission decides, among other things, how much money Georgia students get for the HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships. Meanwhile, the Technical College System of Georgia Foundation last week welcomed Ruth Bettandorff of Marietta and Rick Douglas of West Point to its board. Bettandorff is a retired University of Georgia administrator. Douglas helps lead employee relations, internal and external communications and public and government affairs for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

New technical college system president

Georgia Northwestern Technical College official Heidi Popham got a promotion last week. Popham was Executive Vice President at the school. She was named its president last week. Popham gradually worked her way to the top spot there. She began her career at the college 23 years ago as executive assistant to the president. Popham holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Georgia.

Board raises tech college tuition

If you’re enrolled in one of the Technical College System of Georgia’s schools, it’s going to cost you a little more. The system’s board voted Thursday to increase tuition from $89 per credit hour to $100 per credit hour. 

Emory gets a big grant

AJC file photo
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Emory University announced last week it has received its largest one-time research grant on Thursday, a $180 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will fund analyses aimed at lowering child mortality rates in some of the world’s poorest communities. Here’s our report on the grant and more about the research Emory will do with this money.

Students sue U.S. Education Secretary

You may remember late last year when for-profit college Virginia College closed its doors. The college had campuses in Augusta and Savannah. Last week, some former students filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. against U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, saying she indirectly harmed the students. The lawsuit says DeVos’ decision to allow an accreditation agency to operate despite mismanagement allegations and that agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, approved accreditation to Virginia College although there were questions about its operations.

A celebration for students without a school

June 8, 2019 Atlanta - Argosy University Atlanta students including Essence Fiddemon (center) move their tassels during 2019 Argosy University Atlanta Commencement at Church of Christ at Bouldercrest in Atlanta on Saturday, June 8, 2019. A group is holding a graduation ceremony for some Argosy University students who didn’t get their degrees with the school abruptly closed earlier this year. The ceremony is being done by the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia. The students were pursuing degrees in that field. Some of the students scrambled to complete their degree work, but haven’t received degrees. Some students anticipate receiving degrees, but others aren’t sure they’ll ever receive the papers saying they graduated. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For-profit school Argosy University abruptly closed in March, leaving students to find other schools to continue their education. A few students pursuing degrees in counseling completed their coursework in the university’s final chaotic days and worked with a professional organization to celebrate their work with a commencement ceremony Saturday. Here’s our report on the ceremony.

Another high college cost

Jimmy McMillian had a point, many New Yorkers said, during his two failed campaigns for mayor in 2005 and 2009 when he complained about high rent costs in the Big Apple. Many college students would agree about the cost to live near some campuses. RentCafe recently posted an item on its website researching rent costs near 100 prominent colleges and universities. Not surprisingly, the average rent one mile from these campuses, including two in Georgia, was well above the city average. The average monthly rent for a place a mile from Georgia Tech was $1,912, which was 33% higher than the Atlanta average, RentCafe found. The average monthly rent near Emory University was $1,714, which was 19% higher than the city average, the website found.

Berry College takes an unique approach with its housing stock

The Spires, a retirement housing complex, is under construction at Berry College. It’s scheduled to open in 2020 and many spaces are already reserved. The college says it will give current students another place to work while in school, create another revenue stream for the college and allow an older generation to become more involved on campus.
Photo: The Spires at Berry College

So speaking of campus living, Berry College in North Georgia is leasing land on its Rome campus to a nonprofit for a retirement complex under construction. It’s apparently a first for a Georgia college, but not for higher education nationally, the AJC reported. Read more about it here.

Education Notebook

First-year Gov. Brian Kemp is taking a different approach with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement: a smaller budget and a reduced role. Ty Tagami, the AJC’s state education reporter, took a look into what this means in this week’s AJC Education Notebook. Here’s his report

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