Georgia Trend magazine for some bizarre reason decided to choose the chancellor of the University System of Georgia Hank Huckaby as their Georgian of the year. The person that sent me the link warned me I might throw up in my throat a bit and she was right. I am going to go out on a limb when I say the writer doesn’t read this blog or do much research. Because if she had I daresay she might have chosen someone far more deserving of the title than a middling bureaucrat that should have remained retired. Take a look at how Hank Huckaby destroyed Georgia Perimeter College . Also take note of how his résumé compares with chancellors from neighboring states in qualifications and you will understand why the USG is heading down the crapper under Huckaby.
I would also wager that since the USG institutions are among the biggest sources for ad sponsors in magazines like Georgia Trend, TV stations, and newspapers this had no influence on his selection at all. 🙄
I have been told that journalists have stated quite matter-of-factly the reason they do not cover these whistleblower and corruption cases that we report on here at Global Watch is in fact due to the massive ad revenue hit they would take if they pissed off the USG. UGA, GT, GSU and all the other colleges spend a lot of money on advertising. In all honesty if they decided to throw some big advertising bucks my way I might be tempted to vent my outrage at other targets as well so I can see the power of ad revenue influence to the bottom line of these media organizations in Georgia. Not long ago the Tobacco industry wielded similar influence and managed to limit articles that linked tobacco with cancer.
Hank Huckaby most certainly is very influential (detrimentally) and now that he has moved ahead with six different mergers of colleges in Georgia his policies will have a big and long-lasting impact on thousands in the state. For example, his main henchman Rob Watts saw enrollment decline from 27,000 to around 21,000 at Georgia Perimeter College and now that they will soon be swallowed by Georgia State that number might shrink even further. That is a big influence for sure by serving around 6,000 fewer students who wanted to attend college and are now no longer welcome. It is also important to remember that GPC has a large number of minority students and I imagine a disproportionate number of those 6,000 fewer students were people of color.
How many more minorities and poorer students have suffered from Huckaby’s merger mania? How many have fell through the cracks because they are largely being ignored by his policies where he has rolled back many initiatives of the former African-American chancellor Erroll Davis he replaced? Besides merger mania what exactly has be accomplished to improve the lives of students, teachers, or the institutions of the USG? If you believe the Georgia Trend magazine article that looks as though it was written by the press office of the USG itself you would think he is a miracle worker.
Building on a model that has been used by the state of Tennessee and the city of Chicago, President Obama made a proposal which would involve the federal government and states combining to pay the entire cost of tuition for two years at a community college for any American who wanted it.
Community college, in effect, would be universal the way high school is now. But thanks to Hank Huckaby we now have a lot fewer community colleges where people can even take advantage of that. Thanks to Hank Huckaby the USG and the students they serve won’t have as many places for students even if Georgia agreed to join this program which is doubtful given the fact that Governor Deal also was against billions in aid for medicaid expansion.
Let me clue you in on something Hank Huckaby, going ahead with a bunch of mergers is not something you can be proud of. You have accomplished nothing of note as chancellor and if you decided to retire soon I imagine more than a few students and professors would be extremely happy. How much more damage will this man do to the USG before we can get a chancellor with vision? Can the USG survive with dullards like Huckaby and a disengaged group of rich dilettantes sitting on their hands at the Board of Regents? Yes we can survive and have done so for a long time, but can we thrive? Now that my friends is the million dollar question.
If you are interested in reading more on Mr. not Dr. Huckaby, here are a few good places to start and the legacy he is really leaving. Hire a pencil-pushing middling bureaucrat who was the lap dog of Michael Adams for years and you shouldn’t be surprised when he runs the USG into the ground.
A few suggested links to read: