College President Greg Aloia Launches New Academic Year

Brunswick, GA Following a moment of respectful silence honoring members of the community and families who had died since last fall, the Pledge of Allegiance and a round of applause for the retired military and veterans in the audience, Dr. Greg Aloia addressed the assembly of faculty and staff gathered in the Thomas Auditorium of the Southeast Georgia Conference Center on August 15 to launch the 2013-2014 academic year.

“I tell you the College of Coastal Georgia is a great place to be,” he said, acknowledging the support and enthusiasm he has encountered across campus and the community in his first six weeks as president of the College. He noted his admiration for the accomplishments of faculty and staff and the leadership and energy provided by Dr. Valerie Hepburn during her five-year term as president.

Aloia referenced David L. Kirp’s book, Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education (Harvard 2003), explaining that the book captures, through four themes, the essence of the fundamental conundrum facing higher education:

  1. Character of the academy: a community of scholars versus a confederacy of self-seekers;
  2. Access to knowledge: openness of ideas versus ownership of information;
  3. Role of faculty: pursuers of truth versus entrepreneurs with degrees; and
  4. Students: acolytes whose preferences are to be formed versus consumers whose preferences are to be satisfied.

He cited the “wonderful culture” he was discovering on the Coastal Georgia campus which embraced the higher calling in each of the four themes. He also stressed the pride that College employees take in the quality of their work, from mowing the grass to teaching a class, which is the hallmark of a true college of choice.

He used the image of the crow’s nest of a ship to expand on the importance of each employee’s attitude and commitment. “It’s the place on the main mast used as a lookout point to protect and guide the ship,” he explained. “It was a system depending on individuals not technology to keep the ship safe and on course.” He prompted laughter when he commented, “You know, your kids never thank you for removing the roller skates from the stairs the night before so they won’t fall over them the next morning. But that’s the kind of preemptive action we are all called to do.”

Aloia announced that the chair of faculty senate would be added to the president’s cabinet of advisors. He listed other faculty initiatives to be examined in the coming academic year, including workload, sabbaticals, increased research support and faculty parking. Staff initiatives being explored include flex schedules during the summer, professional development opportunities, wellness initiatives and pay status after five years with no increases. He recognized and complimented various departments, sharing impactful achievements each had accomplished.
Other agenda items he listed for the coming year included veteran initiatives, international globalization of the campus, improvements to the intramural field and lake dock, and study centers across the campus.

“Not counting the library, which has 120 study areas, we have identified more than 39 places on campus conducive to study,” he said, explaining the importance of dedicated study space to commuting students. “Our goal is for every building to have known, easily-recognizable and accessible study carrels, quiet areas and group study sites. We are going to be the most study-user-friendly campus in the University System of Georgia.”

He stressed that the new funding formula within the USG would be based on RPG: retention, progression and graduation. “Those institutions most successful with RPG will be funded, grow and truly achieve their mission. Let us be that college of choice for all students who seek to learn, all staff members who seek to contribute and all faculty members who seek to profess and engage in the discourse of their discipline.”

Aloia concluded by asking for the support of every College employee through a gift, at any level, to the College Foundation. “We have no deep alumni base yet. We are dependent on the efforts of the Office of Advancement and the College Foundation to fund student scholarships, endow chairs and faculty positions, provide scholarly support as well as faculty and staff development, and deepen the well for capital support. To have over 90% of the faculty and staff contribute some amount is the single biggest, clearest and most affirming statement we can make about our commitment to our vision, mission and students.”

During the morning program, years of service were recognized and Aloia saluted the staff member of the year, Gerald Moody.

Five Years:
Monique Green
Jordan Hernandez
Karen Johnson
Joan Rozmarynoski
Rebecca Sharpe
Curt Spires
Troy Strickland

Ten Years:
Richard Hampton
Brian McLeod
Maira Perdomo
Leslie Spires
Anjee Tucker

Fifteen Years:
Holly Christensen
Gary Strickland

Twenty Years:
Michael Hannaford
Karen Martin
Don Mathews
Floyd Phoenix
Jeff Preston

Twenty-five Years:
Sharon Bartkovich
Ntungwa Maasha

Thirty Years:
Joe Peeples

Release Date: 8/19/2013
Source: College of Coastal Georgia

Media Contact:
John Cornell
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