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National higher education expert to speak at UNG April 24

George Mehaffy

Dr. George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), will talk about the future of higher education on April 24 at the University of North Georgia (UNG). He will speak at 10 a.m. on the Dahlonega Campus and at 2 p.m. on the Gainesville Campus; both presentations will be broadcast live to all four UNG campuses.

His presentation, "Constant Change: The Challenging Context of the 21st Century," is sponsored by UNG's Office of Academic Affairs and is part of the Year of Engagement Speaker Series at UNG.

UNG is one of only two public universities in Georgia to earn the Carnegie Foundation's classification for community engagement. UNG President Bonita Jacobs designated the 2014-15 academic year as "The Year of Engagement" during faculty and staff assemblies held in August.

"Following consolidation, the University of North Georgia has an opportunity to embrace its role as a regional, comprehensive institution that provides educational opportunities for the region and helps meet both economic development and workforce needs across northeast Georgia," said Dr. Patricia Donat, UNG provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. "With his expertise, George Mehaffy is ideally suited to challenge the university to fulfill our mission and serve as stewards of the region."

Mehaffy will talk about technology, demographics, and economics as powerful forces of disruption that are challenging colleges and universities. Traditional missions, core assumptions, and ways of operating all have to be reconsidered in this era of transformation, and Mehaffy will discuss how colleges and universities can survive and even thrive in this new environment.

AASCU is based in Washington, D.C. and represents 400 public colleges and universities and their 3.8 million students.

Mehaffy’s division develops and manages programs for member institutions in areas such as organizational change, civic engagement, leadership development, undergraduate education, technology, international education and teacher education. He works closely with university presidents and chief academic officers on a variety of national initiatives. Each year, his division organizes a number of conferences, including two national conferences each year for AASCU chief academic officers.

He has directed a series of innovative projects, including international programs with China and Liberia, and two major national studies of student success. In 2003, he launched the American Democracy Project, a civic engagement initiative involving 240 colleges and universities, including UNG. Most recently, he organized the Red Balloon Project, a national initiative to transform undergraduate education for the 21st century.

Prior to joining AASCU, Mehaffy spent more than 20 years in teaching and administrative roles in higher education in Texas, New Mexico and California.

The presentations can be viewed in the following locations:

  • Cumming Campus: Room 208 (10 a.m. only) and Room 262 (2 p.m. only)
  • Dahlonega Campus: Library Technology Center, David L. Potter Special Collections Room, room 382
  • Gainesville Campus: John Harrison Hosch Library, room 134
  • Oconee Campus: Student Resource Center, room 564

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