Sonny Perdue talks state of USG and what’s next

Secretary of United States Department of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue
Secretary of United States Department of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Sonny Perdue was named the chancellor of the University System of Georgia (USG) in March 2022.

On Monday, WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with Perdue to talk about what’s next for the USG.

“As the new Chancellor, what are some of the first things you want to do on the job? What’s the state of the University System Of Georgia?” Wallace asked.

“Well, I think the state of the University System is strong. That’s what I’m assessing currently. A lot of people ask me what is my vision. What am I going to do right out of the box? I’m going to listen. I’m going to visit campuses. We were in Albany just a couple of weeks ago for a board meeting. Albany State did a good show down there. Very professional. And we were very impressed with your town and your academic institution there. But we are going to get around the state, talking to faculty, students, and the Presidents, to others about those in the community, about what they see as the needs. We got a great system here, Jim. It’s not broke, and we don’t have a need to fix it,” Perdue said.

“I know that you probably want to make sure that the University System of Georgia is the top in the nation. Would you say that is one of your goals?”

“Absolutely, the undisputed best is the way I like to say it. We’ve got a great regent from Albany, Barbara Rivera Holmes, there. She’s in the chamber business. It’s her job to say Albany is the best community within which to live and we want to say that about the university system. But not only do we want to say it, but we also want others to say it. We want to be recognized nationally as the undisputed best higher education system in the nation. I don’t apologize for aspiring to greatness. I think we’ve got the capability,” said Perdue. “We’ve got a great system for governance here in the state, where the Board of Regents, appointed by the governor directs the policies of this system. And our institutions have a wide lane in which to implement those based on their own unique characteristics in every community. So it’s a great governance model. And the collaboration and shared governance between faculty, and students, as our primary customers. Families. It’s a great opportunity to make a difference. Jim, this is really about the future prosperity of our state, which I believe begins with a good educational base. Both in K through 12, but especially a higher education opportunity, where students can progress along with their careers. And add more prosperity for themselves, their families, and their future generations,” Perdue replied.

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