Kentucky wide receiver Josh Ali (6) fumbles a punt return while Bulldogs wide receiver Tyler Simmons (87) and Wildcats defensive back Brandin Echols (26) try to recover it amid the rain Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
Photo: Bob Andres/
Photo: Bob Andres/

AJC On Campus: Oglethorpe backs Dreamers; pay for Georgia athletes?

One of the most vigorous debates on college campuses in recent years has been whether student athletes should be compensated in some way for the billions of dollars schools make annually from athletics. The conversation took a new direction in Georgia last week, thanks to a state lawmaker from Stone Mountain. Here’s a little more about that and other matters in this week’s AJC On Campus.

Lawmaker wants to compensate college athletes

State Rep. Billy Mitchell, a Democrat from Stone Mountain, announced Wednesday he’s proposing legislation that would find some way to pay college athletes. The idea is no slam dunk since Republicans control both chambers of the Georgia Legislature and bipartisan support will be necessary to get this passed. Stay tuned.

Oglethorpe University lends support to Dreamers

Oglethorpe University's Cousins Center. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Nov. 12 concerning whether the federal government must allow Dreamers, young immigrants who were illegally brought here as children, to receive federal financial aid to college and other benefits. Oglethorpe University sent us information Friday that it has joined more than 160 colleges and universities to sign a brief in support of the students. Oglethorpe, located in Brookhaven, partnered with an organization in February to scholarships to some of those students.

Georgia State’s faculty diversity push

Georgia State University’s student body is about 60% female and 75% non-white. Its faculty is 51% female and 30% non-white. University leaders want to improve the numbers and have some ideas about how they can do so. Here’s our report about the effort.

Education leader quits post and calls to eliminate student loan debt

A. Wayne Johnson/AJC file

A. Wayne Johnson said last week’s he’s resigning his high-ranking position in the U.S. Department of Education in an effort to become Georgia’s next U.S. senator. Johnson was the chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid, which manages its $1.6 trillion, yes, trillion student loan debt.

What’s interesting about Johnson’s announcement is his desire to cancel much of the nation’s student loan debt. His proposal would provide students a $50,000 grant for their college education and other work training and licensing costs, the AJC’s Political Insider reported, and people who have already paid their student loan debts would receive tax credits up to $50,000. Here’s more about Johnson’s plan.

UGA grad rates at record highs

May 10, 2019 Athens - Students (from left) Isabella Skinner, Rinko Mitsunaga, Tiya Sutton, Cedrick Haney and Julia Solomon react before they move their tassels during UGA's 2019 spring undergraduate commencement ceremony at Sanford Stadium in Athens on Friday, May 10, 2019. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

The University of Georgia said Monday its six-year completion rate - the measure monitored by the federal government - is 87%. Its four-year completion rate is 69%. Both are records, the university said. The rates were about 10 percentage points higher than its peer institutions, UGA said. Officials noted in a news release about the rates its efforts to hire more faculty members in recent years, particularly in high-demand courses, and its work to lower class sizes. UGA has had some extremely strong classes of students in recent years. This year’s new students had a grade-point average above 4.0, the highest since the university started tracking such information.

Scholarship created for LGBT students at the University of Georgia

Here’s some more news from UGA. Its law school announced last week the first scholarship endowment in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. The school received $100,000 from various donors. “This pledge to diversifying the legal profession and helping future lawyers and leaders advances our shared commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion and belonging in the legal profession,” law school Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said in a news release.

Dean Alford’s mounting legal troubles

Former Georgia Board of Regents member C. Dean Alford. CONTRIBUTED

Former Georgia Board of Regents member Dean Alford, who resigned several weeks ago after turning himself in on racketeering and theft by taking charges, is now facing a civil lawsuit by a group of about 40 people who say he bilked them out of about $6 million as part of a Ponzi scheme for his energy company. Read more about the lawsuit here.

African American sororities give back to alma maters 

Two African American sororities were in different parts of Georgia last weekend making major contributions to two universities. The Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the University of Georgia commemorated its 50th anniversary last weekend with several events to support current students on campus. The events included a health fair and a walk/run to raise money for a scholarship fund. Meanwhile, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority gave Clark Atlanta University $100,000 on Saturday as part of its fundraising effort in support of the sorority’s 90th anniversary.

Spike Lee’s Morehouse College school days

Spike Lee, shown in the 1979 Morehouse College yearbook. CONTRIBUTED BY MOREHOUSE COLLEGE
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Filmmaker Spike Lee recently visited his alma mater for its first film festival. AJC reporter Ernie Suggs spent some time with Lee at Morehouse during the visit and wrote this report about Lee’s school days there.

Two Morehouse men honored at alumni hall of fame event

Two Morehouse College graduates were inducted last weekend into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. Curley M. Dossman Jr., president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and vice president of community affairs at Georgia-Pacific,  received the Chairman’s Award. The Rev. Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., senior pastor of the House of Hope, was the faith & theology inductee. The ceremony was held in Atlanta. 

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